Mission 2019: Amit Shah’s 3-day tour to boost booth-level preparations in Odisha
Shah, who landed in Bhubaneswar on Monday evening, would tour Ganjam, Jajpur and Khurda districts as part of the party’s “Mo booth, sabuthu mazboot (my booth strongest)” programme.Updated: Jul 03, 2017 23:20 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
With an eye on assembly and Lok Sabha polls in 2019, BJP president Amit Shah arrived in Odisha on Monday for a three-day tour during which he will give a boost to the party’s preparations at the booth level.
Shah, who landed in Bhubaneswar in the evening, would tour Ganjam, Jajpur and Khurda districts where he would meet the party’s grassroots workers as part of the party’s “Mo booth, sabuthu mazboot (my booth strongest)” programme.
The party, which is on a high after winning 297 of the 851 zilla parishad seats in February’s panchayat polls, has 10 MLAs and 1 MP from the state.
With booth-level workers in only about one-third of the 92,000-odd polling booths in the state, Shah’s programme aims to recruit cadre at the ground level to take on the all-powerful BJD which has been ruling Odisha since 2000.
Shah would come again in August to connect with booth-level workers and strategise the strengthening of the party.
On Tuesday, Shah would start his trip with a visit to Hugulapata village in Ganjam district where he would meet five families and discuss various welfare programmes implemented by the Modi government.
Later, he would meet grassroots party workers to take stock of the party’s organisational strength. As part of the party’s Dalit outreach programme, Shah would have lunch with a Dalit family.
The next day Shah will visit Jajpur district and interact with local party workers. On Thursday, he will meet BJP zilla parishad members, block presidents and vice-presidents in Khurda district and wind down his trip by meeting senior party leaders at the state office.
State BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said Shah’s tour would send a message that strong booths would ensure development of Odisha.
“When the party’s national president visits booth-level workers in their homes and lunches with them, it would send a clear signal about the party’s intention of taking everyone along,” he said.
Shah would also review how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s programmes have fared in the state in the last three years, Mohanty said.
Ruling BJD played down the impact of Shah’s trip. Cooperation minister Surya Patro said the visit “may enthuse BJP workers temporarily”. “Odisha is still solidly behind Naveen Patnaik,” he said.
Political analyst Rabi Das said despite BJP’s relative success in the panchayat polls, BJD is still a much stronger party. “The problem with BJP is that there is no leader in the party who can stand up to Naveen Patnaik. It’s an unequal fight as of now,” said Das.
First Published: Jul 03, 2017 23:13 IST