BHUBANESWAR: Even as BJP national president Amit Shah rounded up his three-day visit to Odisha by giving a call for the ouster of Naveen Patnaik government in the next election, the ruling BJD has drawn up an elaborate programme to maintain the lead over its rival at the grassroots level.
The programme spread over three months from August to September end, will culminate with mass contact programme across Odisha, to propagate the performance of the government during the last 17 years. As the national BJP president raised the issue of lack of basic infrastructure in villages during his booth level programmes, the BJD interface with the people will focus on the achievements of the government despite central neglect.
The BJD, meanwhile, dismissed the claim of Shah to win 120 seats in the assembly in the next assembly election as a dream. "Let them dream. Nobody can stop that, but the ground reality is different," BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said.
Mishra, a former minister, said by July end, extended executive body meeting of block committees of the BJD will be held to prepare party workers at the grassroots level for mass contact programme. He said meetings of extended district executive committees have been held except in Mayurbhanj, Rayagada and Nabarangpur. The meetings in these three districts will also be held soon, he said.
The BJD leader said the booth and ward level people's contact programme will be participatory. Party workers will interact with the villagers freely to educate them about various welfare programmes launched by the state government to counter the anti-propaganda of the opposition political parties.
Meanwhile, Biju Janata Dal Krushak Sammukhya, the farmers' wing of the ruling party, announced that it will organise protest meetings at all the 314 block headquarters of the state from July 10 to July 18 demanding hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.
In a letter to all district observers, state office-bearers, MPs, MLAs and other leaders, state convenor of Sammukhya, Sushant Singh though a demonstration was held in front of the Raj Bhavan demanding hike in MSP on July 23 and a memorandum was submitted to President of India, there was no response in this regard. He said the demonstration in front of the block offices will be of two hours duration.