BJP President Amit Shah on Wednesday began his three-day visit to Odisha to galvanise party workers and leaders for its goal to win 120 of 147 seats in the 2019 assembly poll. A host of senior BJP leaders including Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Dharmendra Pradhan have also arrived here to join Shah, who is on 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen the party.
During his visit, Shah is likely to hold several rounds of discussions with BJP MLAs, leaders and workers for chalking out strategies to achieve ‘Mission 120’, which he had envisaged during his last Odisha tour in July.
The BJP, which has just 10 MLAs in the current Assembly, has been in an upbeat mood since its impressive performance in the last rural polls in the state earlier this year. The party believes it is on track to take on the ruling BJD, which has been in power since 2000 under Naveen Patnaik, and could win 120 of the 147 Assembly seats.
In the rural polls, the BJP notched up an impressive tally winning 306 of the 853 zilla parishad seats, up from merely 36 seats it had bagged in 2012, sources said.
Shah was accorded a warm welcome by senior leaders of BJP on his arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here after which proceeded to the state party headquarters in a procession.
He will hold a separate meeting with state office bearers, district presidents and district prabharis (in-charge).
The BJP president is also slated to address booth level workers at a mega conclave of the workers at the Janta Maidan on Friday.
Javdekar said the BJP mission for the next general election would be highly successful in Odisha.
“Enough is enough,” he said adding that “the people of Odisha are now disillusioned with BJD rule for the last 17 years and are keen to bring about a change in order to be a part of the development process”.
He said the BJP’s impressive performance in over seven backward and poor districts in the last rural polls earlier this year in the state showed the people’s growing support for the party.
Shah’s three-day visit would provide new energy to the party for the next polls, he said.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the people of the state are “fed up with backwardness, misrule and corruption” during the BJD-rule and are eagerly waiting to have a taste of good governance of the BJP “whose popularity is growing under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.