Parties warm up for 2016 Panchayat elections

Bhubaneswar: Though we are 10 months away from the Panchayat elections in the State, all the major parties –BJD, Congress, BJP – have began warming up for the same. While Congress launched an membership drive for the same on Friday, BJP is all set to kick off its Jana Kalyan campaign from April 7. Even ruling BJD is not behind and is already laying the groundwork for the elections.

Congress which began its membership drive with party president Prasad Harichandhan giving party membership to 5 women of Bhagabati slum in Bhubaneswar, will continue this program for 2 months across all its organizational districts in the State.

“We are going to the doorsteps of people and gathering members and we will expand this drive which will definitely help us in the upcoming elections and further. It will also strengthen the bond between the party and the public,” said Harichandan.

On the other hand, the BJP will launch its Jana Kalyan Yatra from April 7 in 15 of its organizational districts. Through this campain, the members of the party are aiming to create awareness about the programs and initiatives of the BJP-led central government while highlighting the failures of the State government. In future, the drive will be extended to other districts after which the party will finalise its poll strategy.

“It’s not about the elections, but we are trying to spread our ideologies in the rural hinterlands door-to-door and people-to-people, which will eventually help the party win,” said Odisha BJP Basant Panda.

Even BJD is not behind and following the organizational polls, committees have been formed at the Panchayat level. BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has already visited various districts. Sources said that after the budget session of the Assembly, the party’s MLAs will camp in their respective constituencies to prepare poll blueprint. Naveen is also scheduled to visit other districts.

“We will approach the public with our developmental agenda. We have already started the process and the MLAs will lead this preparation. Even the party president will visit various districts,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.