People have made up their mind to oust BJD government: PM Modi

Exhorting the party leaders to work hard, he said the BJP’s prospects of winning this election appeared bright.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP state office in Bhubaneswar, on Sunday evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP state office in Bhubaneswar, on Sunday evening.Photo | Debadatta Mallick

BHUBANESWAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reasserted that there was a strong undercurrent for the BJP in Odisha and people have made up their mind for a change of government in the state.

Exuding confidence on BJP government coming to power, the prime minister, in an interview to an Odia TV channel here, said he could say this with conviction due to his long political experience. “I have long experience in organisational matters, election management and contesting elections. I am always on the ground and with the people. I can’t be remote-controlled,” he said.

“I could see the undercurrent in favour of BJP even during my official visits to the state before the elections were declared. I could see that there was a new wind for change in Odisha,” he added.

Modi arrived on his third visit to the state to campaign for the BJP in the ongoing simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assembly on Sunday evening. He is scheduled visit Shree Jagannath temple in Puri early on Monday morning and hold a roadshow there before addressing election rallies in Angul and Cuttack.

Responding to a query on Congress’ silence on BJD government during its campaign, the prime minister said no one from the party is ready to talk against Naveen Patnaik. “It seems they have some kind of an understanding with the regional party. In contrast, we are openly attacking the state government and exposing their shortcomings after their long rule,” he said.

On allegations that while the ED and CBI were aggressive on Opposition parties, they did not touch the BJD which was embroiled in chit fund scam as it had a tacit understanding with the BJP, Modi said some of the central agencies recently conducted raids and unearthed huge amount of cash. “The central agencies are not acting as per the instruction of the Union government. They are free and doing their job. We are sure that the public money looted by the state government will be returned to the people by the BJP government,” he said. 

Asked about the chief ministerial face of the BJP in Odisha, the prime minister said there are full of talented leaders in the state. The people know who is doing what and who is capable to lead them, he said.

On his arrival in Bhubaneswar, the prime minister went to the state party office where he held a meeting with members of the state election management committee and different wings involved in the electioneering process.

In the hour-long meeting, Modi took feedback from the members on the first phase election to four Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly seats held on May 13 and the preparation for second phase poll to be held on Monday.

Exhorting the party leaders to work hard, he said the BJP’s prospects of winning this election appeared bright. He emphasised the pivotal role of booth-level workers. Utmost care should be taken to keep them motivated and there is a great need to be in constant touch with them, he told the party leaders.

In his first-ever visit to the state party office, the prime minister said that he has first visited Odisha in 1989 when he was general secretary of the national BJP and was in charge of election management committee. He remembered some of the state functionaries who were working in a very small office then. After the meeting, the prime minister had an one-on-one with state unit president Manmohan Samal before leaving for Raj Bhawan for night halt.

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