BHUBANESWAR: With the BJP launching a series of public outreach programmes across the State to bring its frontal organisations into election mode and prepare a platform for the party’s campaign for the 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit the State on December 24 to kick-start the election campaign.
Announcing the Prime Minister’s visit, national BJP general secretary and Odisha in-charge Arun Singh on Thursday said Modi will address a public rally in Khurda. He is also scheduled to visit IIT-Bhubaneswar campus at Argul near Jatni in Khurda district.
The Prime Minister’s visit to the State is part of the party’s election campaign plan in which he will address at east 50 rallies across the country by February next year. Modi’s visit will be followed by BJP chief Amit Shah and other senior leaders including Union ministers, sources in the party said.
Each is designed so that it covers 2-3 Lok Sabha constituencies. As the elections to the next Assembly and Lok Sabha (to be held simultaneously) draw closure, more such rallies will be organised in different parts of the State, the sources said.
The core committee of the BJP met here to discuss the venue for the PM’s rally. “We had a preliminary discussion on the proposed visit of the Prime Minister. Several venues in and around the city for the public meeting were discussed. It has been tentatively decided to organise the rally near Khurda-Jatni junction,” said a member of the core committee adding, a team of the party will visit the spot on Friday.
The Prime Minister had last visited the State on May 26 and addressed a rally in Cuttack on completion of four years of the NDA Government at the Centre. After launching ‘Halla Bol’ agitation in all block headquarters in October in which the party gheraoed block offices protesting various irregularities and corruption, the State unit of the saffron party conducted ‘Lok Sampark Padyatra’ throughout November. Currently, the party is holding ‘Jan Paramarsh Padyatra’ in villages. The objective of the programme is to collect views of the people on various initiatives taken by the Modi Government.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to come on a two-day visit to the State in the last week of this month. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said Gandhi’s visit is confirmed but the date is yet to be decided. The Congress president will address rallies in coastal, south and western Odisha during his visit, Patnaik added.