BHUBANESWAR: With BJP president Amit Shah setting a target to win next Assembly election, the State unit of the party has its job cut out for the 2019 hustings. Take Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Development for All’ message to people, explain the Centre’s welfare schemes for the poor, identify their problems and find solutions to them were Shah’s mantra for the State cadres.
“I have a feeling after my three-day tour to Odisha that there is a bright chance for the BJP to win next election in the State as people want a change. But this would be possible only if we work hard. We don’t have the luxury to sit idle as we have to reach each household and the time is short,” the national BJP chief told a core committee of the party before his departure from the State.
Holding a series of meetings with elected and defeated zilla parishad and panchayat samiti members, district presidents and pravaris (in-charge), State functionaries, MLAs, MPs and vistaraks (full time propagators) in a hotel outside the city on the last day of his tour, Shah emphasised on more publicity for the pro-poor initiatives of the Modi Government.
A piece of Shah’s advice to State functionaries was to learn something from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik: “The BJD chief has mastered the art of extracting maximum mileage from schemes meant for the poor even as many of them are not properly implemented.”
“We have to beat them (BJD) at their own game. Give extensive publicity to Central government schemes and programmes at booth level and take feedback of the people on its impact,” he advised.
Confident that implementation of welfare schemes for the poor would guarantee vote for the BJP, the saffron party chief advised party workers to make door-to-door visit and find out if the benefits of the Central Government programmes are reaching them.
“Identify their problems and find solutions. Highlight the failures of the State Government and build up public opinion against inefficiency of local administration and ruling party,” he told party leaders. Claiming that Shah has laid a solid plan, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said winning 120 seats is not an impossible task. The former CM Biju Patnaik had made a similar leap from 16 seats to 123 in 1990 Assembly polls, he said. Shah held a separate meeting with 147 ‘vistaraks’ (propagators) who have been selected to work full time for the party for a year. Each of them has been assigned an Assembly constituency to monitor the booth level contact programmes.