BHUBANESWAR: BJP president Amit Shah’s claim that his party will win the 2019 Assembly election in Odisha with two-thirds majority evoked reaction on expected line from the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Opposition Congress with both rejecting such a possibility.
While the BJD downplayed Shah’s statement by terming it a ‘day dream’, the Congress, which is struggling to put its house in order in the State, ignored the issue altogether by concentrating on poll promises not fulfilled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The BJP is day dreaming and the number of the party’s MLAs in Odisha will not cross 10 (the number of BJP MLAs in Assembly now),” BJD vice-president and Minister for Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Surya Narayan Patro said.
Patro, who represents Digapahandi constituency in Ganjam, said the BJP does not have a base in the district. “People who attended Shah’s meetings were from neighbouring Kandhamal district,” he said.
BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Deb also dismissed Shah’s claim at a meeting of party workers as internal matter of BJP. “Shah was addressing party workers and there is nothing new about such claims,” Deb said and added, “People of Odisha will decide.”
Though the BJD tried to downplay the impact of Shah’s visit, it has launched the ‘Ama Gaon, Ama Vikas’ (our village, our development) programme from July 1 to reach out to people in a bid to counter BJP’s booth level exercise.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said as per Indian Constitution, anybody can crave for anything he likes. “No law can prevent the BJP president from saying that his party will win 100 per cent seats in 2019,” he said.
Mishra criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah for not keeping promises made during the 2014 polls including bringing back black money, creating two crore employment every year and increasing minimum support price (MSP) on paddy by one and a half times.
Addressing the party workers at Hugulapata near Chief Minister’s constituency Hinjili, Shah said, “We will not rest until a BJP chief minister takes oath in Odisha. We will win the 2019 Assembly election with two-thirds majority and form the Government here.”