BHUBANESWAR: BJP national president Amit Shah's claim that the party will win the 2019 assembly election with a two-thirds majority has evoked the expected reaction from the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Opposition Congress in Odisha as both have rejected such a possibility.
While the BJD downplayed the impact of such a statement by describing it as a 'day dream', the Congress which is struggling to put its house in order in Odisha ignored the issue altogether by concentrating on poll promises not fulfilled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, though the BJD tried to downplay the impact of Shah's visit, the party has already launched the 'Ama Gaon, Ama Vikas (our village, our development) programme' from July 1 to reach out to people in a bid to counter BJP's booth level exercise.
"The BJP is day dreaming and the number of the party's MLAs in Odisha will not cross 10 (the number of BJP MLAs in assembly now)," BJD vice-president and minister for food supply and consumer welfare Surjya Narayan Patro said.
Patro, who represents Digapahandi constituency in Ganjam in the assembly, said the BJP does not have a base in the district. "People who attended Shah's meetings were from neighbouring Kandhamal district," he said.
BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Deb also dismissed Shah's claim at a meeting of party workers as internal matter of BJP.
"Shah was addressing party workers and there is nothing new about such claims," Deb said and added, "people of Odisha will decide."
Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in the assembly and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said as per Indian constitution anybody can crave for anything he likes. "No law can prevent the BJP president from saying that his party will win 100 percent seats in 2019," he said.
Mishra criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah for not keeping promises made during the 2014 polls including bringing back black money, creating 2 crore employment every year and hike in minimum support price (MSP) on paddy by one and a half time.
Addressing party workers at Hugulapata near the chief minister's assembly constituency Hinjili, Shah said, "We will not rest until a BJP chief minister takes oath in Odisha.
We will win the 2019 Assembly election with a two- thirds majority and form the government here."