Amit Shah Odisha visit: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone today (August 5) for widening and strengthening of Moter to Banner via Ladugaon road in Kalahandi district of Bhubaneswar.
Amit Shah arrived in Bhubaneswar on Friday (August 4) night. Shah's flight landed at around 11.50 pm, and he was received at the airport by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Manmohan Samal and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi, among others.
With both Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections approaching, Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Odisha will boost the party's prospects.
On Saturday (August 5), Shah is scheduled to launch a national highway project and attend meetings on Left-Wing Extremism and disaster management. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will also attend the two back-to-back meetings at the state secretariat.
The home minister is also scheduled to attend a meeting at the airport lounge before leaving for Delhi on Saturday evening, officials said, without specifying who would be present in it.
Though there is no official confirmation about a one-to-one meeting between Shah and Patnaik, the Union minister's programme list showed that a 30-minute meeting is scheduled after the two meetings at the state secretariat. However, there is no mention whom Shah will meet.
Shah's visit to the state comes amid the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) extending its support to the bill replacing the Delhi services ordinance in a boost to the treasury benches, especially in Rajya Sabha, and also backing the BJP-led NDA government against the no-confidence motion brought by opposition parties in Parliament.
Shah will also visit the BJP's state office on Saturday afternoon, and hold a closed-door meeting with party leaders. His last visit to the state on June 17 was cancelled in view of cyclone Biparjoy hitting Gujarat.
Odisha election game plan:
Odisha has 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, of which BJP had won eight seats in 2019 while BJD secured 12 seats and a single seat went to the Congress. For 2019 Assembly polls, Amit Shah himself had set a 120 seat-plus target for the Odisha BJP.
However, in the 147-seat Odisha Assembly, the BJD had won 113 seats, BJP secured 23, Congress nine, one CPI (M) and one Independent. BJP's Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Odisha have increased in the 2019 polls which has encouraged the party to work in mission mode to further increase the number of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the 2024 elections.
While Union Ministers are frequently visiting various parliamentary constituencies under the Lok Sabha Pravas Yojana, senior BJP leaders, including State party In-charge Sunil Bansal, are holding meetings to prepare a strategy to strengthen the party base in these constituencies.
Following the break-up of the BJD-BJP coalition government in 2009, Naveen Patnaik has been maintaining equal distance from both BJP and Congress. However, it has been supporting the Modi government in crucial times.
(With agencies inputs)