BJP hopeful of dethroning BJD govt in Odisha in 2019

The two-day BJP national executive meet, which began on Saturday, is expected to underline strategy for a big saffron push in states like Odisha where the BJP has traditionally been weak. A roadmap for expansion will be drawn up.

Amit Shah said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will complete three years in office on May 26 and it had worked hard during this period. Leading the discussions are BJP president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who drove down from the airport in a Range Rover sports utility vehicle to a rousing welcome. "It indicates how much the Prime Minister is concerned about Odisha's development". The only other leader visible in the posters is Shah. Beyond the actual route of the convoy, nearly the entire city was a sea of saffron with party flags and cut-outs of the Prime Minister. After that he will take part in the OdiaNew Year celebrations at party headquarters along with state leaders.

India's eastern coast had bucked the Modi wave of 2014. Shah, seen by many as an election-winning machine, wants to turn the vote-share gains into seats in 2019.

According to Prasad, Shah said that the BJP's golden time would come when it won in Karnataka, Odisha and West Bengal.

Sources also said along with other resolutions in the meeting, the BJP will deal with upcoming polls in seven states scheduled for 2018.

Shah is already excited at the BJP graduating from the third to second spot in Odisha in the recent panchayat polls and he chose to hold the executive in the state to give a clear message to the ruling BJD that the BJP is all set to make a dent in the state. "We expect a lot of BJD leaders to quit and join the BJP ahead of 2019", a BJP leader said.

"The state leadership in a manner requested Shah to help it in winning all the 21 Lok Sabha and 147 assembly seats in the state", said a senior leader.

The BJP has also disproved the claims that it can defeat the Congress but not strong regional parties by routing the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party in UT, he said.

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