Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers on Sunday as the party meets for the second day for its national executive convention in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.
Aiming to grab power in Odisha where the Biju Janata Dal is in its forth consecutive term and setting his sights on 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Modi reached Bhubaneshwar on Saturday for the two-day meet.
The Prime Minister held a 9-km roadshow in Bhubaneswar soon after arriving at the city airport.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to speak the meeting before Modi’s address around 3pm.
Party president Amit Shah on Saturday said the BJP’s golden era will begin only when it had chief ministers in every state and held power from the panchayats to the parliament. “Don’t be complacent. Let’s become a true pan-India party to showcase not only the BJP’s success, but make India great in the committee of nations,” he told party leaders.
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5.30 pm: PM Narendra Modi leaves for Gujarat from Bhubaneshwar after the two-day national executive meet.
4.40 pm: BJP leader Nitin Gadkari addresses a press conference after a closed door meeting at the national executive meet. PM Modi said in his speech that he sought to make India free from social and economic inequalities, Gadkari says.
“PM Modi’s speech at national executive meet was also about Jan Dhan, Jal Dhan and Van Dhan.”
4.45 pm: Modi also accused the Opposition of “concocting new issues”, with regards to the EVM tampering.
“Opposition is concocting new issues in a factory of some kind. During Delhi Elections, church attacks was highlighted and during the Bihar polls ‘Award Wapasi’ was the issue. And right now it is the EVM,” the Prime Minister said during the meeting.
Modi also called on the BJP leaders to maintain caution while making statements and to not get carried away with emotions and make untoward remarks.
4.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the BJP to reach out to poor Muslims, who have not benefitted much in all these years.
Making an intervention during the BJP national executive meeting here, Modi said there even Muslim communities have backwards, who are the most marginalised, and it was a duty for the BJP to take the fruits of development to them.
Modi’s outreach to backward Muslims come amidst the backdrop of a move to accord constitutional status to the OBC commission. The Lok Sabha has passed a related bill, but it got blocked in the Rajya Sabha.
4.30 pm: Muslim women are facing difficulties on the issue of triple talaq, we should work for a solution at the district level: ANI quotes Prime Minister Modi as saying. He also stressed on the need to move forward with the formula of New India. “We will not move slowly but fast.”
4.00 pm: BJP leader Sudhanshu Trivedi responds to Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s remarks on EVM tampering. “His views should not be taken seriously. He is the same person who said RSS is behind Mumbai attacks,” Trivedi told ANI.
Earlier today, Digvijaya alleged the Election Commission is limiting objections to the EVMs to hacking.
“The Election Commission is limiting objections to the EVMs to hacking. It must allow the examination of possibility of software tampering at a stage of writing it from server,” he had tweeted.
2.45 pm: PM Modi tweets on the families of freedom fighters he met. The string of tweets talks about the individual contributions of the freedom fighters, including Samant Madhab Chandra Routray, Dama Subudgi Mangaraj and Laxmi Indira Panda.
India will never forget these courageous freedom fighters, who lost their lives so that fellow Indians can breathe the air of freedom.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 16, 2017
1:30 pm: People were cheated in West Bengal, Odisha and many other states in the name of chit funds, the minister says.
1:10 pm: BJP won Uttar Pradesh on the issue of development and we will stick to this issue, he says.
1:00 pm: This is the first government after Independence which has taken meaningful steps, Javadekar tells reporters. “The Modi government has fought the most against corruption,” he adds.
12:50 pm: The Opposition did not support our fight against black money and the decision on demonetisation but people showed their support, Javadekar says while addressing a press conference following the meet.
12:45 pm: The poor poll plank that the Congress had during Indira Gandhi’s time has shifted to the BJP, says Union minister of human resource development Prakash Javadekar.
Opposition did not support fight against black money and demonetisation, but people showed their support : Shri @PrakashJavdekar— BJP (@BJP4India) April 16, 2017
12:40 pm: Political resolution at the meet says people are voting for progress and not on the basis of caste and religion.
12:35 pm: The national executive meet criticises the Opposition for “preaching social justice and practising vote back politics.”
12:30 pm: The next national executive meeting will be held on July 15 and 16 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, says cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh.
11:45 am: Modi says government will create 50 virtual museums across the country to recall various rebellions and struggles of tribal communities against colonialism.
9:00 am: Lingaraj Temple administration welcomes the prime minister to the 11th century Shiv shrine as locals throng the area to get a glimpse of Modi. The Lingaraja temple is the largest and one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar.
Crowd not barred from entering the temple to offer prayers.
8: 15 am: Modi meets families of freedom fighters who took part in Paika Rebellion against British East India Company, says the massive struggle of independence in our country was restricted to only a few families and incidents.
In 1817, 50 years before the first war of independence in 1857, the Oriyas were rising up against the East India Company and demanding the right to rule themselves. The Paikas, a landed militia under Bakshi Jagabandhu, projected Lord Jagannath of Puri as the great symbol of unity and fought the Company raj.