Berhampur (Odisha): Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik’s support to Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA’s Presidential candidate, does not appear to be enough to pacify the BJP. The saffron party – which has been seething since it was thrown out of a decade-old alliance by the BJD in 2009, - on Tuesday made it clear that it was bent upon on its mission to capture power in Odisha in 2019.
Addressing party workers at Hugulapata in Ganjam district, BJP national president Amit Shah said his party was strengthening its position in all the 36,000 booths in Odisha and it was poised to win the 2019 Assembly polls with a two-thirds majority. “In the 17 years of BJD rule, Odisha has not made much progress. Not all villages in the state have electricity. Nor all families have their own toilets. Many villages also do not have water connections and youths are battling unemployment problem. People here are disenchanted towards this non-performing government and will discard it in 2019,” Shah, who is on a three-day trip to the state, told party workers.
The BJP supremo observed that despite being rich in minerals, natural resources and hundreds of km of coastline, - Odisha continued to be a poor state and is ‘far behind’ in terms of development. Reacting to Shah’s remarks, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said the BJP president’s observations were on expected lines and his party did not take them seriously. “BJP is our political rival. It is natural that Amit Shah will criticise us to boost the morale of his party leaders and workers,” he said.