BJP, Cong see opportunity in Odisha to improve tally

BJP, Cong see opportunity in Odisha to improve tally

Congress President Rahul Gandhi at a public meeting, in Rourkela of Sundergarh district, on February 6, 2019. PTI

Both the BJP and the Congress are seeing a great opportunity to improve their tally in Odisha in the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Two national parties seem to be determined not to leave any stone unturned to capture as many seats as possible. This is clearly evident by the manner in which senior leaders of both parties have been making frequent visits to the eastern state.

Leaders who have already made more than one trip to Odisha in the past couple of months include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP chief Amit Shah, besides a number of Union ministers and other senior Congress and BJP leaders. Yogi Adityanath and Bhupesh Baghel, the BJP and Congress chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively, have also made one trip each.

Prime Minister Modi had made two trips to Odisha during a short span of 10 days in the first and second week of January addressing public rallies in north and western Odisha. He had also visited the state in the last week of December addressing a public meeting at Khurda near here.

Rahul had toured the state on February 6 and addressed two election rallies in Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district and Rourkela in Sundergarh district, both in western Odisha, once considered a Congress citadel. Prior to that, he had also made a day-long trip to the state on January 25 addressing a public meeting at Tomando near the city here besides holding parleys with party workers.

The Congress president would soon be visiting the state again to address two public meetings in western and southern Odisha, party sources said. 

Like Modi and Rahul, the BJP president has also made multiple Odisha trips since the beginning of the year including one in February.

Ruling BJD leaders, nevertheless, are of the view that the BJP and Congress’ all out efforts will yield no positive results and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s personal popularity and the state government’s recently launched schemes for the benefit of the economically weaker sections including the farmers would see them through once again. The regional outfit had a landslide victory during the 2014 twin polls in the state.