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  India   Politics  22 Jan 2017  Doubts over BJP plans for Odisha polls

Doubts over BJP plans for Odisha polls

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Jan 22, 2017, 7:06 am IST
Updated : Jan 22, 2017, 7:06 am IST

Panchayat polls in Odisha will be held in five phases in February.

BJP President Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)
 BJP President Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)

Bhubaneswar: BJP national president Amit Shah’s avoidance of the media during his one-day visit to Odisha on Friday has raised many doubts about the senior leaders of the party getting directly involved in the crucial panchayat elections in the state.

Though Mr Shah met party leaders and key workers in a closed-door meeting at the party’s state headquarters here before leaving for Puri to attend a religious function, he ignored the questions by media persons as to what would be the organisation’s poll strategy vis-a-vis the ruling BJD, its main foe now in the state. In the closed-door meeting, sources said, Mr Shah asked party leaders to work hard at the grassroots for bettering its 2012 results when the party had just won 34 out of the 854 zilla parishad (ZP) seats, finishing a poor third. While the BJD had won 651 ZP seats, the Congress had bagged 128. Sources added that Mr Shah did not want to be actively involved in the Odisha panchayat election process considering the fact that any poor performance by the party would erode his clout and stake, and thereby affect the party’s show in the 2019 Assembly elections. The BJP is trying to grab power in Odisha in 2019 by dislodging the BJD.

 

Hitherto confined to western Odisha, the party is now making serious bids to do well in coastal and north Odisha, where the BJD vote bank is strongly consolidated. It is expected that at several ZP seats in coastal Odisha, BJP candidates would give a strong fight to their BJD opponents.

Panchayat polls in Odisha will be held in five phases in February.

Tags: amit shah, odisha
Location: India, Odisha, Bhubaneswar