Sources said the BJD chief has started short-listing of candidates ahead of the polls.
Bhubaneswar: With the Bharatiya Janata Party making steady progress in the state, the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha has begun its spadework to hold the fort and retain power for the fifth consecutive term in 2019 General Elections.
In the last two weeks, Odisha chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik — who has been in power in the state since 2000 — has held one-to-one meetings with dozens of elected representatives of the party to get their feedback on the organisation’s preparedness for the elections.
Besides legislators and elected representatives of local bodies, the CM has been meeting district observers, district presidents and other functionaries of the party.
According to senior BJD leader Mangala Kisan, the CM has asked the ward committee members to form sub committees and work towards party strengthening at the grassroots.
Expressing similar views, Bimadhara Kunwar, Keonjhar district observer, on Sunday said all observers were asked to reach out to people and ensure that development schemes reached them.
Sources said the BJD chief has started short-listing of candidates ahead of the polls. He has also directed party leaders not to get flustered by criticism and work together.
Sources also informed that the CM has cautioned some MLAs that they would not get party tickets if they fail to improve party strength in their respective constituencies.
While the BJP, at present the principal rival of the BJD, - has already formed 36,000 booth committees with an aim to at least get 1.40 crore votes in 2019 to reach it 120-plus assembly seats, the state Congress unit, buoyed by the elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the post of party president, is planning a massive resurrection plan to return to power.