BHUBANESWAR: As the State unit of the BJP goes all out to ensure the mega rally to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Janata Maidan here on Friday in support of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) a grand success, the Opposition on Thursday termed it a fruitless exercise. The ruling BJD that extended unqualified support to the CAA in Parliament saw no reason in holding such a rally when the whole of India is witnessing agitation and violence over the issue. “I think it’s too late now. Had the Union Government made people aware about CAA before implementing it, the incidents of violence could have been prevented,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb remarked. He said people of the State are fully aware of the BJD stand on the issue.
Chief Minister Minister Naveen Patnaik has already made it clear that his party is not in favour of the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Congress lambasted the BJP for the prevailing situation in the country after the controversial CAA was passed. Senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said the BJP rally is nothing but a big drama. There is no point in spending huge money to organise rallies in support of CAA when the entire country is burning. “What they want to explain when the people are not convinced? Their hidden agenda has been exposed,” he said.
With pressure mounting on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from national and regional political parties and minority communities opposed to BJP for passing a resolution against CAA, NPR and NRC in Odisha Legislative Assembly, Shah’s rally assumes significance.The saffron party has been mobilising people from across the State to participate in the rally. “All district units have been asked to mobilise people to attend the rally and several campaign vehicles pressed into service in the State capital to send the message of Shah’s visit with a request to the people to extend their solidarity with the CAA,” said State BJP president Samir Mohanty.
Shah is coming to the State for the first time after becoming the Union Home Minister. He will address the BJP rally after a meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council here. He will also hold a meeting of BJP MPs, MLAs and State office-bearers at a city hotel after the public meeting. The Union Home Minister is scheduled to visit Puri on Saturday for a darshan of Lord Jagnnath. On his return, he will visit Lingaraj temple to offer puja and fly back the same day to New Delhi.