Elections 2019: BJP eyes big gains in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Despite defeat in the recently-concluded assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of winning big in Odisha during the upcoming general polls.

BJP national president Amit Shah, while speaking during the ‘Republic Summit 2018’ in Mumbai said that the party will win more seats in the north-east frontier states including, West Bengal and Odisha in 2019 elections.

However, the ruling-BJD in Odisha and Congress took a dig at Shah stating that the saffron party’s defeat in the Hindi heartland has proved that the people have rejected the Narendra Modi government and it is the ‘beginning of the end of the BJP.’

BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said people of Odisha have not got anything from the BJP in the last four and a half years. “Who will gain or lose in general elections would be clear once the poll results are out. BJD has nothing to fear,” he added.

Senior Congress leader Sura Routray said that the BJP cannot ‘stand up’ again to fight further after its defeat in the recent assembly elections.

“The position of the BJP in Odisha is third; the BJD is at second position while the Congress is now the No. 1 party in the State due to AICC president Rahul Gandhi. Besides, the rift and infighting that we had have been ironed out; no one has any qualms now.”

On the other hand, it is believed that the defeat in the Hindi-belt has forced BJP to focus more on north-east states and West Bengal & Odisha, which share a total of 88 Lok Sabha seats. Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to visit Odisha on December 24 to rejuvenate the party organization and woo voters.

Odisha BJP spokesperson Golaka Mohapatra said that the party believes in development of Odisha. “During his visit, PM Modi will announce a lot of developmental projects for Odisha,” he said.