With an eye on the 2024 elections, the major political parties in Odisha are back to 'padyatra' politics to reach out to voters and strengthen their base ahead of the general polls.
After BJP president JP Nadda's tour to Odisha and the BJD’s recent workshop, both parties now want to woo voters in the State by highlighting their achievements through padyatras.
On Gandhi Jayanti, the BJP took out padyatra from Jagmara area in Bhubaneswar. The Opposition party called out the voters to uproot the 'corruption-filled' ruling BJD which has been running the State for the past 22 years.
Similarly, the BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the state-wide Jansampark Padyatra from Kargil slum in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. He called out all the party workers to stand united and reach out to voters at the grassroots level.
The saffron party is focusing on strengthening its organisation at booth, mandal, block and constituency levels, apart from highlighting the 'failures' of the BJD government.
BJP spokesperson Dilip Mohanty said, “We will reach out to all the people and send out the message that this government is not trust-worthy. This (BJD) government cannot ensure safety. If Lord Jagannath is not safe under this government, how will they protect the common man? This is the fight for the truth. People will give a befitting reply to this government in 2024.”
Speaking on padyatra politics, BJD leader Ashok Chandra Panda said, “We have been doing padyatras since 2010. This is not politics. Every party should reach out to the people at the ground level. This will not have an impact on our party.”
Meanwhile, the Odisha Congress has also decided to embark on a padyatra from October 31 and has already formulated a comprehensive plan to reclaim the seats where the party did not fare well in the previous general elections.
OPCC President Sarat Pattnayak said, “Both the BJD and the BJP are fighting like they just want to gain power in the State. They are not worried at all about the people of Odisha. Price rise to unemployment, people are disappointed and this will help in favour of our party.”
(Reporter: Chandan Paikray and Jagdish Dash, OTV)