BJP National Executive meet begins in Bhubaneswar

In 1998, the BJP held its national executive meet here and after that the saffron party joined hands with state's now ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

About 350 people, which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, union ministers, Chief Ministers of 13 BJP-ruled states including UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, will attend the meeting.

"The Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Deputy Chief Ministers coming here to attend the BJP's national executive meeting will be treated as State guests", said the Chief Minister's Office (CMO). "This meeting can prove to be a milestone in the upcoming elections of Odisha", he told ANI. However, the polls marked a huge victory for the BJP as its seat share rose by 750% compared with the last elections in 2012 - Of the 853 seats being contested, the BJP won 306 from just 36 in 2012, while the BJD's seat share dropped to 460 from 651.

"We want to strengthen our party".

Shah sounded the bugle right with his arrival at the airport on 14 April from where he led a massive road-show with a sea of party workers taking over the city.

In a sarcastic attack, Shah said that when United Progressive Alliance won the 2004 and 2009 general elections or the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party won the Uttar Pradesh elections in 2007 and 2012, then there was no problem, but now all of sudden questions are being raised about EVMs. As part of the party's plan to consolidate the recent gains made by it, all the working committee members have been asked to devote at least 15 days' time for interacting with the workers at the booth level.

In his inaugural address at the national executive meeting here, Shah said BJP's historic victory in UP has changed the definition of a big win, as before this analysts would consider a 2/3 majority as a big margin.

Speaking to the media, Shah dubbed this attitude of opposition parties as disrespect to the Election Commission (EC). He also voiced concern about violence against BJP and RSS cadres in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal.

"We will not reach the peak until BJP becomes a pan India party, and all the states have our own Chief Ministers". Taking a dig at the Naveen Patnaik government, he said it has failed on the governance front and as a result, Odisha is much behind other states on development parameters.

Prime Minister Modi, landed in Bhubaneswar, and was given reception at two places by activists of party's students and youth wings at Airport and by Mahila Morcha near Raj Bhawan.

  • Joe Gonzales