BJP Odisha In-Charge In Bhubaneswar With JP Nadda Set To Sound Poll Bugle In 6 Days

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of BJP national president JP Nadda’s two-day visit to Odisha, state in-charge of the party Sunil Bansal arrived in Bhubaneswar on Friday on a day’s visit to chair a review meeting with senior party leaders.

According to party sources, he will also discuss the tasks assigned during his previous visit to the state. Bansal had attended a training camp for its workers at Puri from September 13 to 15.

Nadda is scheduled to arrive in Odisha on September 29, his first visit to the state after becoming the national president. Though his itinerary has not been finalised, he is likely to kick-start campaign for the 2024 general elections by addressing a rally of around 25,000 party workers at Janata Maidan in Bhubaneswar on the first day of his visit.

The BJP chief will then head to Puri and visit the Srimandir the following day after a night’s stay in the pilgrim town. He will also meet the core committee of the party and office bearers, MLAs and MPs separately. He is also likely to attend some party events in Puri and Cuttack, a party functionary said.

BJP national general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam was in the state on Monday to take stock of the preparations and discussed the two-day schedule of Nadda with senior functionaries of the party here. Two of his proposed tours to Odisha were cancelled at the last moment due to his other pressing engagements.

In August, Amit Shah, the chief strategist of the saffron party, visited the state and asked state BJP leaders to brace for the 2024 election without wasting time and achieve Mission 120+. He also took stock of the steps taken by the party to strengthen the booth committee after the party’s debacle in urban and panchayat polls.

While claiming that the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come back to power at the Centre with a two-third majority in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, he also expressed confidence that the party will form the government in Odisha after the Assembly polls scheduled to be held in the same year.

Bansal replaced D Purandeswari as in-charge of the Odisha unit of the party, along with West Bengal and Telangana,  soon after Shah’s two-day visit to the state. His appointment was seen as a move by BJP to strengthen the party apparatus in these states, which are being ruled by regional parties, ahead of the 2024 elections.

Bansal was the general secretary (organisation) in Uttar Pradesh and one of the major planners of the party’s win in the UP elections in 2017 and 2022. He also worked closely with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is from Odisha, in UP Assembly polls held in February-March, 2022. Dharmendra was the state election in-charge.

Leader of Opposition in the Odisha Assembly, Jayanarayan Mishra had also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday to discuss various political and organisational issues. Nadda, who was also present, advised Jayanarayan to strengthen the party at the grassroots level and intensify the public outreach programme before the next election, sources added.

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