As part of BJP’s move to persuade the people of Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will felicitate the members of 16 families associated with an 1817 rebellion in Odisha against the British rule during the BJPs National Executive Meeting on April 16.
Mr.Modi will felicitate the noted freedom fighters at Raj Bhavan on the second day of the party’s National Executive Meet.
The Paika Eebellion of 1817 is seen as the first armed mutiny against the colonial rule in India.
Mr.Modi's decision to meet members of the Freedom Fighters families behind it will boost the party's image in the State, its leaders said.
The BJPs decision to hold its two-day National Executive Meeting in Odisha in a gap of 19 years, is described by party as a launching pad of its ambitious electoral plans for the State for 2019 polls.
The party has been traditionally weak in Odisha but it has emerged stronger following the panchayat polls by bagging over 33 per cent of votes, pushing the Congress to the third position, claimed the BJP leaders.
It believes that the meeting in the State will have major impact in neighbouring states like West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, the two other big states where it has fared poorly in elections.
Odisha sends 21 members to the Lok Sabha with the Governing BJD having 20 and the BJP one member in the current House.
BJP National President Amit Shah has identified Odisha and West Bengal besides Coromandel and the North Eastern states as the regions where it should boost its seat tally significantly in 2019. This is to make up for any
loss in west India and states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which it had swept in 2014.
It's win in State legislative Assembly polls in Assam and Manipur is seen as a successful execution of this strategy so far.
Mr.Shah will also be meeting booth-level workers in Odisha in the coming weeks. Incidentally, he has enrolled himself as a party member from the State.