Shah plans state visit in April

Buoyed by their success in the general elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP is now focusing on Odisha.

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 20.03.17
  •  
Amit Shah

Bhubaneswar, March 19: Buoyed by their success in the general elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP is now focusing on Odisha.

The national president of the party, Amit Shah, will visit the state for three days in April. Shah had last visited the state to campaign for the recently-concluded rural polls in which the BJP gained considerable ground across the state.

Party spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said: "The dates of his visit have not yet been finalised. But, he will interact with local leaders of the party during his visit. There will be no pubic meeting."

He said: "Our national president will directly talk with the party functionaries and solicit their views on various issues. He will give directions on how the party should go ahead and win the confidence and trust of people."

Sources said as part of the Modi government's policy of "Looking at the East", the BJP is planning to spread its wings in Odisha.

Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram today said: "The people have reposed their faith on the Narendra Modi government across the country. Now the people of the state will follow suit and vote for the party in the 2019 general elections."

The party, which has so far been confined only to the western part of Odisha, has only six MLAs in the Assembly.

However, the last rural election was a major boost for the BJP. Of the 846 zila parishad seats, the BJD has won 473, a loss of 178 seats compared to the 2012 polls. The BJP has emerged as a threat to the BJD with its zila parishad seat tally going up by 261 compared to the 2012 polls.

As a first step towards consolidating its position, the BJP is now planning to win the urban elections scheduled to be held next year.

"In the zila parishad, the people have shown their faith in us and have rejected the Naveen Patnaik government. We will improve our results even further in the coming urban election," said party state vice-president Samir Mohanty, adding that winning the 2019 general elections was the ultimate goal of the party.

The BJP has already unleashed its game plan to woo the urban voters by announcing that the people of the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttak will get piped cooking gas under the Pradhan Manti Urja Ganga scheme.