Bhubaneswar: The BJP national executive meet is underway at Janata Maidan in Odisha capital Bhubaneshwar. Over 300 delegates are attending the BJP national executive meet. BJP president Amit Shah arrived for the meet yesterday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in Odisha this afternoon. But, focus is likely to be on Yogi Adityanath, who is attending the BJP national executive meet for the first time after taking oath as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
Lal Krishna Advani, most of the cabinet ministers of Modi government and 13 chief ministers of the BJP will be in a huddle with PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah at the Bhubaneshwar ground named after noted Oriya poet and philosopher Bhima Bhoi.
The BJP national executive meet is being held in Odisha for the fourth time and first time in 20 years. The conclaves were earlier held in 1982, 1992 and 1997. Explaining why the BJP is holding its national executive meet in Bhubaneshwar, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the electoral outcome of 2019-parliamentary elections “will be laid down by the Coromandel and eastern states”.
The BJP is focusing to widen its base in Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Odisha will also go to the polls in 2019 along with the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP think tank is said to have prepared a blueprint of what they ‘fresh catchment area’ of around 120 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha and other eastern states. Odisha is critical for the BJP’s ‘fresh catchment area’ strategy after its decent show in the panchayat polls in the state.
During the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP while swept entire north India but fared badly in the east. It had won only two seats in West Bengal and only one of 21 seats in Odisha.
Among southern states, the BJP drew a naught in Kerala, won just one seat in Tamil Nadu, two of 25 in Andhra Pradesh and one of 17 in Telangana.
After the panchayat polls in Odisha, the BJP replaced the Congress as the second largest party after the ruling BJD. The BJP hopes to cash in on the anti-incumbency mood against the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha two years down the line.
The BJP is fresh from victories in four of the five states where Assembly elections were held. The BJP formed governments in Uttar Pradesh with resounding mandate and also in Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.
Yogi Adityanath has been hogging limelight ever since he became Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister last month. Besides party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yogi Adityanath is expected to address the BJP national executive meet.