BJD readies blueprint to strengthen base in Western Odisha; CM’s visit likely

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has reportedly drawn a blueprint to strengthen party’s base in Western Odisha ahead of the 2024 elections.

Senior BJD leaders from the region reportedly held a series of meetings in the capital city here in the last two days to prepare the blueprint.

The meetings were held at BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence and party’s headquarters ‘Sankha Bhawan’ here, sources said.

“Senior BJD leaders from Western Odisha held a series of meeting at Naveen Niwas and Sankha Bhawan for the last two days to chalk out a strategy to strengthen the party in the region. BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik may visit Western Odisha very soon as part of the regionally party’s preparation for the next year’s Parliamentary and Assembly elections in the state,” said a source.

It is worth mentioning here that Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had done extremely well in Western Odisha in the Parliamentary elections in 2019.

BJP nominees came victorious in at least five parliamentary seats—Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Balangir and Kalahandi—in Western Odisha in 2019.

However, the BJD managed to win majority of the Assembly seats in the region. It is believed that BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik had opted to contest the Assembly poll from Bijepur seat in Bargarh district apart from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district to counter the BJP in Western Odisha.

“Union Minister and BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan has already shown his interest to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Odisha. Speculations are rife that Pradhan will fight the poll from a constituency in Western Odisha. So, it is natural for the ruling BJD to devise a strategy for strengthening its base in the region,” said a political observer.

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