The BJD leaders have returned from the Swabhiman rally to the constituencies with a view to preparing the party for the polls and placed the special category state status at the top of their agenda.
The move has come in view of an early poll, possibly in November, because of the volatile situation at the Centre and its eagerness to pass the food security Bill.
With the Delhi rally now over, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would hold a state executive meeting to decide on the next course of action for the party, sources said. Earlier, BJD leaders had announced before the rally that the party would decide on its future course of action if the Centre did not declare Odisha a special category state. Many of the ministers and MLAs who attended the rally have already moved back to the constituencies.
Describing the rally as a success, government chief whip Prabhat Tripathy said that it is for the first time that such a rally was organised at the national capital from any political party in the State to forcefully put forth the demand of Odisha. It had a positive affect on the party rank and file, he said and added that the rally has revitalised the cadre. Health and family welfare minister Damodar Rout also said that the rally and the demand for special category state pointed out the direction to the workers for launching the campaign in the constituency. Both Rout and Tripathy have moved back to their respective constituencies after the rally and addressed local meetings.
The Congress has described the rally as a narrow political game. Having betrayed the people of the state by promising them special category state, the CM is now trying to make it an election issue, former minister Narsingh Mishra said.