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Highlights: BJP should have CM in every state, says Amit Shah at national meet

PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have set their eyes on unconquered territories, Odisha being one of them, to win the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2017 22:15 IST
Rajesh Mahapatra and Kumar Uttam
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with party president Amit Shah at BJP's national executive meet in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with party president Amit Shah at BJP's national executive meet in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.(PTI)

The two-day BJP national executive meet gets underway in Bhubaneshwar on Saturday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah set their sights on unconquered territories ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The meet follows the BJP’s stunning election victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, besides securing enough support to form the governments in Manipur and Goa.

The choice of Odisha as the venue highlights Amit Shah’s belief that the party can build its prospects in the state due to anti-incumbency against BJD chief and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who has been in power since 2000. An impressive show by the BJP in recent local body polls in the state, and infighting within the BJD have boosted its morale.

Follow live updates here:

7.30 pm: Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad takes a jibe at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal: “A chief minister of a state call himself a hacking expert.”

He also targets Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Prasad says Vijayan should know that “BJP is not scared of politics of murder.”

“We will win Odisha, like we won Assam and Manipur,” says Prasad. He also says that it is not necessary that the Ram Temple is brought up during every national executive meet. He adds that it is “BJP’s commitment.”

“The UP results is a firm rejection of the politics of casteism, naked family promotion and also appeasement politics. People has placed their trust in the politics of performance.”

7.15 pm: “BJP has changed the meaning of victory after winning Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand with a three-fourths majority,” says Amit Shah at the national executive meet.

He also attacks the opposition for questioning EVMs, asks them to accept defeat gracefully. Here’s what else he said:

• Amit Shah asks BJP’s executive members to spend 25 days at the booth-level, meeting party workers.

• Shah says he too will be travelling for 95 days till September to places including Kerala and the Andamans.

• BJP is yet to reach its peak. The party should have a chief minister in every state.

• Amit Shah brings up political violence. He says BJP and RSS workers are being attacked in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal. “These attacks will be opposed peacefully, lotus will bloom.”

• Uttar Pradesh has proved political observers wrong. BJP can defeat regional parties.

5.30 pm: The PM Modi, Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and LK Advani have taken their place on stage. Mediapersons have been asked to leave as the party begins their meeting.

5.20 pm: PM Modi arrives at the meet’s venue and lights the lamp along with Amit Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley and senior leader LK Advani. Vande Mataram is played to mark the start of the national executive meet.

5.00 pm: PM Modi gets down at the gate of the Raj Bhawan to greet onlookers and a few women leaders of the BJP. He shook hands with many before getting into the car again t o drive into the Odisha governor’s home.

4.50 pm: PM Modi tweets: “Landed in Odisha to a memorable welcome. Gratitude to the people for the warmth and enthusiasm.”

4.00 pm: Supporters throng the streets of Bhubaneshwar as Prime Minister Modi makes his way to the venue of the party meet from the airport. He leans out of his vehicle to wave and greet party workers, supporters.

3.45 pm: PTI reports that life-size cutouts of BJP president Amit Shah were found torn at Power House Chhak area. “It is an unfortunate incident. We condemn it as such an act is against the culture and tradition of Odisha,” senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari said. He accused ruling BJD activists of being behind the incident and said that the party’s leaders were worried about BJP’s surge in Odisha.

Rejecting the allegations, BJD spokesperson Dibya Shankar Mishra said, “BJD does not believe in such vandalism.”

3.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Bhubaneshwar.

2.00 pm: Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh who is attending the meet in Bhubaneshwar says that the welfare of the people in Odisha will be kept in mind during the meet.

“I am noticing zeal and vigour in the BJP workers of Odisha. This meeting can prove to be a milestone in the upcoming elections of Odisha,” he told ANI.

12.00 pm: BJP’s national party secretary Ram Madhav tells ANI that the meet is significant as decisions related to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the upcoming assembly elections will be made here.

11.30 am: BJP’s national executive meet begins in Bhubaneshwar. Around 350 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, union ministers, chief ministers of 13 BJP-ruled states such as UP’s Yogi Adityanath, will attend the meeting.

(With inputs from agencies)