After Bijepur setback, Amit Shah to visit Odisha in April

Bhubaneswar: After the Bijepur bypoll debacle, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national president Amit Shah is all set to visit Odisha early next month apparently to galvanise the morale of party workers.

BJP’s state unit president Basant Panda today informed that the details related to Shah’s visit will be finalised soon. Shah’s visit to the State will be confined to western Odisha districts, Panda said.

“We have requested him to visit the State and organise public meetings in Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, Bolangir and Sonepur,” said Panda.

Thought the exact dates are yet to be finalised, sources said Shah will come to Odisha on a two-day tour on April 4 to hold public meetings.

It is worth mentioning that out of the total 10 seats won by the BJP in 2014 Assembly election in the State, eight were from western Odisha. Besides, the party had also performed well in the panchayat elections but the Bijepur bypoll, in which party candidate Ashok Panigrahi lost to ruling BJD’s Rita Sahu by a margin of over 41,000 votes, has demoralised the party cadres, informed sources.

The BJP chief is also expected to motivate the local BJP workers and prepare strategies to make the party’s base stronger ahead of the 2019 assembly elections.

Meanwhile, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) responded saying that the party is ready for any kind of challenges.

“Where will Amit Shah hold meeting is a decision that will be taken by the BJP. If the saffron party has chosen western Odisha, BJD has nothing to worry about as it is fully prepared for all the challenges,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said.