Odisha in focus as BJP kicks off major party meet


23 April, 2017

Gadkari said the Prime Minister, in a reference to the EVM row, asked his party colleagues not to be distracted by "negativities" and noted that the NDA government had been targeted over issues like alleged attacks on churches which ultimately turned out to be "non-issues".

The star of the show was BJP President Amit Shah, the chief strategist of the ruling party's extraordinary victory whom Modi felicitated during the party meet.

Shah said the BJP should have governments in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and other North-Eastern states. "The BJP will attain its peak when BJP will have Chief Ministers in all the states and it has members everywhere - from panchayats to Parliament", Shah added, according to Prasad.

"We have 13 chief ministers in the country".

After meeting freedom fighters, Prime Minister Modi will visit the famous Lingaraj Temple here.

Though Governor SC Jamir had not gone to the airport to receive the Prime Minister, he was present there to give a warm send-off to Modi.

The state BJP also organised folk dance, songs and folk music at different places along the route taken by the Prime Minister.

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On his way to the BJP meeting venue - the Janata Maidan - Modi met some tribal leaders and students at Jayadev Vihar here.

While addressing national level reporters here, Pradhan said, "The Modi government has sanctioned Rs 5,200 crore to the state In the Railway Budgets in three years".

The two-day meet would formally begin with the Presidential speech of Shah while on Sunday the concluding remarks will be delivered by Modi.

Modi cautioned workers and leaders not to get distracted by the propaganda "manufacturing factory" and "be focused and be positive". "We are not questioning the validity of triple talaq to create conflict within the community but want to highlight the need for justice and to end shoshan [exploitation]", he was quoted as saying by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who briefed the media after the event. "The demand for formation of a tribunal to resolve the river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh has also gone unheeded by the Centre", he said.

The BJP national president said he would spend three days in Kerala as part of the organisational expansion drive. But they do not last.

It said the majority of the schemes and policies launched by the central government were aimed at benefitting people at the bottom rung of the society. Odisha, a third of whose population is below the poverty line, was among the few states that defied the Modi surge in 2014.

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