Patnaik’s exercise comes two weeks ahead of national executive meeting scheduled to be here on April 15 and 16.
Bhubaneswar: Startled by the unprecedented success of the BJP in the recently-concluded rural polls in Odisha and rumblings within his own party, Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik on Sunday embarked on a week-long brainstorming programme with the newly-elected panchayat samiti members of the party.
Mr Patnaik’s exercise comes two weeks ahead of national executive meeting scheduled to be here on April 15 and 16. The CM first met the elected members of the party from Jajpur in the presence of MLAs and MPs of the district at the party headquarters. In the later part of the session, he interacted with local body representatives from Koraput district. “Today I interacted with the newly elected panchayat representatives, MLAs and MPs of Jajpur and Koraput districts. I asked them to reach out to people and educate them on the government schemes. Such meeting will again be conducted after six months,” Mr Patnaik said.
The brainstorming event is slated to culminate on April 8, where representatives from various district will have interactions with the party president. The meeting assumes significance in view of the twin elections – Lok Sabha and Assembly polls - due in 2019.
While the BJP has shifted its focus to Odisha and several union ministers have been frequenting the state on various occasions, the regional party has fastened its belt to consolidate its lost ground.
In a visibly tactical move, the saffron party has picked up the city of temple as its next destination for the two-day national executive meet set to begin from April 15 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, national president Amit Shah, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and other senior leaders will participate.
In the 2017 rural polls, the BJP sprang a surprise by amassing 297 Zilla Parisad seats, up by 261 seats in comparison to its 2012 tally, renewing aspirations of unseating Naveen Patnaik-led government in the forthcoming elections.
The CM’s interaction comes days after party’s Kendrapara Lok Sabha member Baijayant Panda wrote an op-ed piece in a leading Odia daily suggesting Mr Patnaik for an immediate need to “introspect” and take corrective measures in the backdrop of BJP’s ever-increasing mandate in the recently concluded polls.