Bhubaneswar: The vision of Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik to make a modern, empowered and progressive ‘New Odisha’ will be the focus of the 20th Foundation Day of ruling BJD scheduled to be held in Puri this year, instead of Bhubaneswar.
Party leaders today met Patnaik at the State Secretariat in Bhubaneswar to discuss the outline of the programme, keeping the 2019 general elections in mind.
According to sources, the BJD is planning to show its strength in Puri by apprising people about various successful schemes of the government during its foundation day celebrations. BJD leaders and activists from every panchayat will gather in Puri for the programme. A preparatory meeting of the BJD will be held on Tuesday to finalise the schedules.
“It is due to the blessings of Lord Jagannath, BJD has seen success in the country as a regional party and it will remain popular among people. Therefore, the preparations for celebrating 20 years of the party have started,” said Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty.
“On the foundation day, discussions will be held over the journey of the party in the past two decades and emphasis will be laid on expediting welfare programmes,” said BJD vice president, Debi Prasad Mishra.
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“Naveen Patnaik is now the epicentre of State’s progress and he has achieved success in taking the State towards development. A vow will be taken on the foundation day to establish Odisha as a prominent State,” said BJD spokesperson, Sameer Das.
BJD was formed on December 26, 1997 in the name of former Chief Minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik. Political experts believe, though the party has enjoyed unprecedented success in the general elections over the years, the sub-par performance of the party in the recently-concluded Panchayat polls should serve as a reality check.
After BJP’s unexpected success in the recently-concluded Panchayat polls, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Nabakalebara of the saffron party will start from Puri.
Observers feel that BJD has decided to organise the foundation day celebrations in Puri to counter such claims of BJP.