Upbeat after the rural polls, the BJP feels that the voters have rejected BJD’s complain of Central negligence towards the state.
Bhubaneswar: With its target to reach the second spot in state politics getting fulfilled in the recently held rural polls, the BJP in Odisha is eyeing the top place in 2019. It wants to grab power from the ruling BJD that has been in power since 2000.
Further buoyed by its overwhelming success in the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly polls, the party is redrafting its strategy to ensure that the BJD does not bounce back from its rural poll defeat, source said. The challenge for the BJP is to engage 30 lakh members who enrolled via SMSes as active members in political activities to match the BJD’s strong cadre-based foundation at the grassroots.
The BJP is also strongly looking for pitching a potential leader against BJD president and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Though there are a few tall leaders, the party may pass the leadership baton to Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who led the campaign for the panchayat polls.
The BJP feels that the BJD’s alibi of Central negligence to Odisha was no longer cutting any ice with voters as evident from the latter’s poor show in the rural polls.
The BJP has renounced its defensive stand and gone offensive on issues such as distress sale of vegetables, farmer suicides, unemployment, atrocities on women and deteriorating law and order. To send its message to voters, it has created a structure from the earlier 451 to 999 blocks. Besides, its presence has increased from one block per 100 booths to one block per 32 booths now.