Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar is all set for a high-voltage political face-off on Thursday as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda and BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik will hold public meetings in the State Capital on the same day.

While Nadda will address a mass gathering at Janata Maidan, Patnaik will address party members at the Baramunda ground in the smart city.

Nadda’s two-day Odisha visit comes at a time when the party members have just undergone a three-day training workshop. While some of the Central leaders of the saffron party have already addressed the members, it is now time for the party chief, JP Nadda to instill confidence in the cadres and leaders of Odisha ahead of the election.

Effectively, Nadda will blow the 2024 election bugle in Bhubaneswar tomorrow.

After his arrival at Bhubaneswar airport in the morning, he will be taken to the party office in a huge procession. Then he is scheduled to address party members in general and BJP workers from Panchayats in particular at Janata Maidan. His address will include ways to strengthen the organisation in the grass root level, creating awareness among the masses about Central welfare schemes and making the voters understand the failures of the BJD government in the State.

Following his address, he will return to the party office where he will discuss party affairs with MLAs, MPs and other leaders.

Nadda will then move to Puri where he is scheduled to avail darshan of Lord Jagannath on Friday before moving to Bhadrak where he is scheduled to meet the family members of late Bishnu Sethi.

Nadda will then return to Janata Maidan in Bhubaneswar again to address members of several Morchas of the party after which he will meet the core team of the Odisha BJP at the party office.

BJP leader, D Purandeswari said, “He (Nadda) will address the members and show us the winning ways. All the party members are excited to hear him say.”

State General Secretary of BJP, Prithviraj Harichandan said, “His agenda in the public meeting will be to educate members about the path the party wants to move forward in Odisha. He will find a way to deliver the Central welfare schemes to the public more effectively.”

On the other hand, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is all set to counter Nadda’s show by arranging a two-day workers’ meet at Baramunda field where all the top leaders will address the party workers and discuss the issues they will take to the public during the padyatra set to begin on October 2.

Informing reporters about the agenda of BJD’s meeting, senior leader Debi Prasad Mishra said, “The party will discuss the padyatra next month and highlight CM Naveen Patnaik’s role in the development of the State.”

Though party Supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will attend the meeting, he will reportedly address the party workers through video conferencing.

Meanwhile, the Congress has termed the power show as show off. Jeypore MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “Both the BJP and BJD are hand in gloves. They have already made a deal in Delhi. While BJP needs MPs for its majority in the Centre, the BJD needs to keep the Central investigating agencies at bay to shield their corruption in chit fund and coal and mining scams.”

However, amid the allegations of nexus between BJD and BJP, it remains to be seen what mantra will Nadda give to the party members in order to register a majority win in Odisha Assembly elections.

(Reported by Harihar Chand, OTV)