New Odisha BJP President Manmohan Samal Spells Out His Priorities

Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Thursday appointed former minister Manmohan Samal as the new president of its Odisha unit, where it is looking to increase its footprint in the 2024 elections.

Speaking to the media, Samal said that his priority will be to further the ongoing political shift in Odisha and emerge as strong alternative to BJD. “The effort will be to provide a government that can ensure justice for the people of the state. I will take along everyone and we will work with team spirit to fulfil people’s aspiration for an alternative government,” he said.

While the BJP emerged as the main political opponent in the last elections, 2024 will see the party forming a government in Odisha, he said, adding that they would put the available time to good use to achieve it.

Samal also thanked the central leadership for reposing faith in him and giving him the crucial responsibility.

The 64-year-old is known for his organisational skills and experience. A senior leader from coastal district Bhadrak, he was elected to Odisha Assembly in 2004 and served as Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister in Odisha government from 2004 to 2008 while holding the post of state unit president when BJP and BJD were in alliance.

With his fresh appointment, he has become the state BJP president for the third time.

Samal, who played a crucial role in ensuring BJP win in Dhamnagar bye-election, is also seen as a consensus-builder within the saffron party. Party workers see him as a leader who is capable of taking all categories of party people together.

“He has vast experience and organisational skill, which he proved in the Dhamnagar by-poll. I believe that we will be able to put up a strong and united fight in the next election under his leadership,” said BJP leader and MLA Subash Panigrahi.

While BJP won Balasore and Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seats in 2019, the party will be eyeing to bolster its prospects in the entire northern region and adjacent districts with a president from Bhadrak.

“Samal has been appointed as president keeping an eye on the 2024 general and Assembly elections. It will definitely help to strengthen the party,” BJP MLA from Rengali MLA Nauri Naik told reporters.

Notably, the BJP first appointed senior leader Sunil Bansal, one of its chief strategists, as in-charge of the state unit. Then, senior MLA Jayanarayan Mishra, a strong critic of Naveen Patnaik government, was appointed as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.

With the appointment of Samal, the BJP has made it clear that it is preparing to give a strong fight to the BJD government in the next election under this team.



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