Himansu Shekhar Rout

After returning from his visit to New Delhi on Saturday, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Odisha unit, Manmohan Samal reiterated his earlier assertions that Odisha will have a double-engine government in 2024.

Speaking to reporters in Bhubaneswar, Samal said, “The focus will be on Odisha. The BJP will form its government in the state. And people want the BJP government here.”

He also added that all the Central BJP leaders are keen to see a double-engine government. “The Central leaders have started communication with all leaders in Odisha. Again we will have talks in this regard in New Delhi. The Central leadership has directed us to descend to villages and see what is happening on the ground and development. The state leaders have been assigned tasks to visit the panchayats,” Samal added. 

He further stated that his party leaders have covered 11,000 panchayats while the rest 5000 plus panchayats will be covered. “All leaders, functionaries, workers, and MPs will go to the villages as part of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra,” he observed.

As for the BJP’s plan to visit villages, Badamba legislator of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Debi Prasad Mishra apparently frowned upon the plan, satirically saying, “If they now want to head for villages, let them do. No problem! We are already in the villages and we (BJD) are always sharing with the weal and woes of villagers, their fairs and on all occasions. We are in the villages to realise the development projects and people’s welfare. Hence, we are getting the affection and blessings of the people.”

Indirectly referring to the BJP’s claim, Mishra also asserted, “We all are sure that the trust of the people is always with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the BJD. No matter whoever does political arithmetic about the poll results, the BJD will rise above any arithmetic.” 

Speaking about the seizure of cash by the I-T department, Samal slammed the Odisha government. He said it is unfortunate and a matter of shame for the state. He dared Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order a CBI probe into the case.

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