Elections 2019: Amit Shah plans big for Odisha; BJD brushes off impact

Bhubaneswar: BJP national president Amit Shah had in March said that the party’s golden period would begin after forming government in Odisha and his visit to Odisha on July 1 is certainly a step in the direction. If reports are to be believed, Shah is scheduled to have a slew of meetings with party leaders and members of different committees chalking out strategies to oust the ruling-BJD government in 2019.

Shah’s Plan for Odisha

BJP has recently directed all states to appoint an in-charge (prabhari) for each of their Lok Sabha seats (543 across India). However, Odisha BJP has appointed in-charges even at the panchayat level- an attempt to strengthen the party base at the grassroots level.

During his Odisha tour, Shah will have a meeting with all the in-charges. He will also have a closed-door meeting with the 11-member team constituted to look after the pre poll preparations keeping in mind 2019 polls in the State.

During his visit, he is likely to have a detailed discussion on the party’s possible candidates for the elections. The BJP will also form a three-member team in all 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha to manage its social media and legal matters. In addition, two persons will also be appointed in all the parliamentary seats to highlight the achievements of the central government schemes in the State.

Besides, Shah will have regular interactions with all the in-charges so that he can closely monitor the party’s preparedness in the State.

Shah’s 19-Point Agenda

The BJP president has reportedly made a blueprint for the elections in Odisha and is likely to have discussion with the party leaders on a 19-point agenda. Political situation in Odisha, oppositions’ strategy and possible alliances with other parties among others are believed to be part of the agenda.

BJD Denies Impact

The BJD however believe that Shah’s visit fail to put any impact on the party’s prospects in the State.

“The BJP president had also earlier visited Odisha but what happened…This time also, his visit will have no impact on the State,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.

Congress’ Take

President of the Odisha Youth Congress, Lokanath Maharathy today said that its members will oppose Shah’s visit alleging that the BJP government at the Centre is playing with the emotions of the people of Odisha.

Demanding resolution of the Mahanadi issue, providing jobs to two crore youths and bringing back black money to the country, which were earlier promised by PM Modi, Maharathy said that Shah will be opposed till all the demands are not met.

However, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik expressed his displeasure and feigned ignorance about party’s plans of protesting Shah’s visit.

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