BJP eyeing 9 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Much before bugle for the ensuing panchayat polls in the State is blown, the BJP has a blueprint ready to grab nine Lok Sabha seats in Odisha. For this, the State unit of the saffron party will prepare an action plan and send it to party’s national president by October 15, party sources said.

The nine constituencies on which the party has its eyes on are- Bargarh, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Bolangir, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Kalahandi Mayurbhanj and Sundergarh. While BJD had emerged victorious in Sundergarh in the 2014 general elections, it clinched second spot in the rest eight constituencies.

“BJP is focusing on Odisha and special emphasis will be laid to strengthen the organization at grassroots level,” said Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram.

If sources are to be believed, during a core committee meeting in New Delhi in August, Amit Shah had asked members of the State unit to focus on these nine seats and prepare an action plan. Besides, Shah has identified a total of 115 seats across various States which will be on the radar of BJP for the upcoming 2019 general elections.

Seeing victory potential in these constituencies, the BJP chief has asked core committees of each of the concerned States to convene a meeting every month and strengthen the party’s organization in these places.

“The nine seats carry a probalility of victory and in the coming days these seats will bring goods results for the party. The State unit of the party will also prepare a roadmap laying out the processes and ways in which the party should operate in the State,” said Prithviraj Harichandan, general secretary of the Odisha unit of BJP.

“If the party becomes more active and focuses on these strategically indentified seats then it may see some good results,” said political analyst K Ravi.

It has become obvious that Odisha is high on the agenda of BJP for the 2019 general elections with union ministers visiting the state frequently. Interestingly, Modi in the past 2 years has already visited Odisha four times.