The Bharatiya Janata Party's two-day national executive meeting is set to begin in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on Saturday evening. A roadmap for expansion will be drawn up.
"We want to strengthen our base in Odisha as well as other states". Congress, the principal Opposition party in the state, was pushed to a distant third in the panchayat polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides Shah himself are likely to give a call for pushing the party's expansion in the new territories. Some 350 party members, including senior leaders such as LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union ministers and chief ministers of 13 BJP-governed states will attend the meet. But the biggest message from the executive might have already been delivered when the BJP made a decision to hold the meeting in the eastern state.
The poster is of Yogi Adityanath's swearing-in ceremony, where he is surrounded by leaders.
Modi will arrive here tomorrow afternoon.
The BJP has also planned a virtual road show for Modi when he arrives in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. But it remains to be seen if Modi magic would work here in 2019 as well.
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Shah landed today to prepare the ground for Modi's reception. The BJP organised a motorcycle rally to welcome him.
Despite the Narendra Modi wave in 2014, the BJP couldn't perform well in the eastern, coastal and the Coromandel region (India's south-eastern coastal region).
These areas cover over 200 seats. Party is hopeful of winning some of these seats in 2019. He was offered lotus garland by state BJP chief Basant Panda and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. After finishing second to the ruling BJD in the recent panchayat polls, BJP pundits claim that the meet will develop much needed momentum for the assembly polls. Moreso, when the BJP is eyeing Odisha as its 2019 lab choosing leaders and connecting with the grassroots.
He said the BJP will emerge as the natural party for governance in the state by 2019.
"Odisha has 36,000 polling booths. As long as he is around, it would be hard for BJP to win the state or the Lok Sabha seats here".