Odisha BJP leaders aim to capitalise Modi’s visit

BARGARH: The stage is all set for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to address a farmers’ convention at Odisha’s Bargarh on Sunday.

The state wing of BJP expects that the visit of Modi and Shah would give a big boost to the party to connect the people in the state. The party leaders are also trying to gain political mileage from the second visit of the Prime Minister in a month.

BJP activists here are also upbeat as party leaders from across the state and even bordering states have all arrived for the meeting at Bargarh.

The fact that the BJP had outsmarted the ruling BJD’s massive preparations at Paradip on February 7 where chief minister Naveen Patnaik shared the dais with Modi has boosted the morale of the party workers here.

“The tour of Naveen Patnaik, who addressed two rallies on February 18 in the western Odisha, will have no impact on the convention. In fact, we will score over them with the Bargarh meeting”, said BJP workers here.

They pointed out that in a tactical ploy, the CM Naveen Patnaik did not utter a word against the Centre at his meetings in Bolangir and Kalahandi on Thursday.

He did not even raise the issue of drought assistance as he was aware that the PM and Amit Shah would give a fitting rebuttal at Bargarh.

Leaders of the BJP from state to Centre have made Bargarh as their temporary sojourn now to prepare for the meeting of the Prime Minister, who will address farmers of the region at a time when farmers’ suicide reached the peak due to crop failure amidst scanty rainfall during the last monsoon.

While Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has already arrived in the state and taken a review meeting with the state government officials, Amit Shah would arrive on Saturday and attend the farmers’ convention.

However, the speculation rests around whether Modi or Shah will attack the BJD or not.

BJP leaders said that this Modi and Shah would definitely attack the BJD-led Odisha government over farmers’ suicide and numerous issues.

“Modi did not utter a single word against the state government during his visit to IOCL Refinery project inauguration since it was a government programme. But, the Bargarh rally is a political programme, and we expect that Modi will hit out at Naveen Patnaik,” said a senior BJP leader.

But seasoned BJP leaders are sceptical and say the PM, going by his meeting at Madhya Pradesh, will focus entirely on developmental schemes for farmers rather than criticising the BJD government in the state.