BHUBANESWAR: With BJP setting its sight on Odisha after its stunning win UP and Uttarakhand, the stage is ready for party’s national executive committee meeting which kicks off in Bhubaneswar from Saturday. National BJP president Amit Shah arrived in the city on Friday for the two-day meet.
While Shah was given a rousing reception by party workers before being taken in a motor cycle rally to AG Square where he paid floral tributes to the statue of BR Ambedkar to mark the birth anniversary of the father of the constitution, Union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan set the tone for the national convention saying that Odisha was chosen for the meeting as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planned to make Odisha a laboratory in eastern India for its development experiments.
Asserting that the BJP will capture power in the State in 2019, Pradhan said, people of the State have accepted Modi as their leader and they want a change of government in the State which is ruled by the BJD for four terms in a row.
As per a national survey conducted by the party after three years of NDA coming to power, Odisha has emerged among the top three states were the Prime Minister is the most popular political figure, Pradhan told mediapersons here.
Even as there is widespread speculation in political circles about leaders deserting both BJD and Congress, Pradhan claimed that there is a bee line of leaders from rival political parties to join BJP. "We are ready to accept leaders with clean image."
While Prime Minister Modi will arrive in the City on Saturday to attend the national executive meet, the BJP president will have a meeting with national general secretaries of the party later in the day in a city hotel to set the agenda for discussion in the national executive committee meeting.
The agenda will be put up before the party's national office bearers' meeting to be held on Saturday for further discussion and the draft agenda will be finally placed in the national convention for ratification and passing of a resolution.
Shah is scheduled to participate in a function organised on the occasion of Maha Bisubha Sankranti popularly known as Pana Sankranti in the state BJP office to celebrate the Odia New Year. Meanwhile, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj may not participate in the two-day convention due to her health conditions.
For the national executive meeting, massive arrangements have been put in place at Janata Maidan in the city. A fully-air-conditioned pandal is being erected on an area of 51,000 square feet out of a total carpet area of 80,000 sq ft which will house a temporary office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As many as 334 delegates are expected to attend the national convention. Over 30 Union Ministers, 13 Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States will start arriving from Saturday.
To oversee the security for the meet, the State Police has deployed 100 platoons of force apart from mobilising CRPF, ITBP and CISF. Four IG-ranked officers and 15 SPs will supervise the extensive security arrangements.