Naveen Patnaik’s 2nd Seat A Ploy To Elect Political Heir, Amit Shah Tells BJP Leaders In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: While claiming that the BJP will form its first government in Odisha in 2024 with a young dynamic Odia chief minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah exhorted the state leaders to dedicate themselves fully for a month to ensure the party’s victory in the upcoming simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

Analysing Naveen Patnaik’s decision to contest from a second seat, Shah said he believes that it is a ploy to elect his political heir through the back door. “It will be wrong to construed that the BJD supremo opted for a second seat for the fear of losing the election. He will leave one seat for the man of his choice and get him elected to the Assembly to stem any rebellion within the party,” he said during a crucial meeting with BJP leaders of 13 parliamentary constituencies at a convention centre near Cuttack-Puri by-pass road on Thursday night.

Exuding confidence that the party will do exceedingly well both in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the BJP stalwart urged the state leaders to keep their differences aside and work together. He also asked the party candidates to go door-to-door and meet common people. “Nothing is impossible if we have a target and determination to win elections. The BJP had only three per cent vote share in Assam and 1.5 per cent in Tripura. If it could form government in both the states with absolute majority, why not in Odisha where vote share ranged from 32 to 34 per cent,” he said.

Acknowledging that confusion still persists in the minds of some leaders and workers regarding ‘friendly relationship’ of the BJP with BJD, Shah asserted that party’s interest is paramount which is why the central leadership backed out of the proposed alliance with the regional party.

“Odisha needs a healthy, young and Odia-speaking Chief Minister,” Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi told reporters later, quoting Shah.

Though the Union Minister was supposed to make a night halt in Bhubaneswar, he left for Bhopal after the meeting got over.

(With inputs from TNIE & PTI)

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