BHUBANESWAR: Riding high on the growing popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday exhorted partymen to capitalise it to end the ‘misrule’ of the ruling BJD.
Making no secret of his desire for a big saffron push in States including Odisha where party’s presence is very weak, Shah, on the second day of his three-day booth contact programme, addressed a gathering of party workers from six districts at Panikoili in Jajpur district, considered to be a BJD stronghold.
Launching his ‘Mission Odisha’ programme from the home turf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the national BJP president signalled his political opponents, especially the ruling BJD, that he is here on serious business.
The three districts chosen for Shah’s visit under “Mo Booth Sabuthu Majbhoot” (My booth is the strongest) programme are where the BJP has no presence. This is a well-crafted move by the BJP to build booth level infrastructure where the party is still at its nascence.
Setting an ambitious target for the party to win 120 out of 147 Assembly seats in 2019 elections, Shah gave a clarion call to party cadres to remove the BJD Government.
“Destroy the BJD and throw out the Naveen Patnaik Government which has ruined the State,” Shah said as he received a rapturous response from party workers.
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling BJD for doing nothing in the last 17 years despite huge Central assistance, Shah said the BJP will change the fortune of Odisha in five years if it comes to power.
Claiming that there was a surge in Central grants in the last three years, Shah reeled out statistics of the Centre’s contribution to the State in shape of Central tax, grant-in-aids, State Disaster Response Fund, local body grants and assistance for infrastructure development.
However, the benefits of these assistance have not reached the people yet, said the BJP chief who was accompanied by Union Ministers Jual Oram, Dharmendra Pradhan, state-in-charge Arun Singh and senior leaders of the State including president Basant Panda and KV Singh Deo.
There is no reason for a state like Odisha to remain backward in spite of its huge natural resources and a strong youth force. The problem lies with the State Government which needs to be shown the door, he said.