BJP readies for 2019 elections with 2-day meeting in Odisha

Earlier, Shah held a meeting with BJP office-bearers to chalk out a strategy for expanding the party base in other states.

Shah asked the party workers to react peacefully against the violence perpetrated against them in states like Kerala, Bengal and Tripura. The BJP's massive wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have changed the experts' definition of big victories, usually associated with two-thirds majority, as it won more than 75% of seats as people have embraced "our politics of performance" and rejected opposition parties' politics of brazen appeasement, rank family promotion and casteism, Shah said.

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

According to Prasad, Shah said: "Such talks are like not accepting the defeat honestly and dishonouring the Election Commission". Minister Prasad said that BJP chief Amit Shah will spend time at the booth-level for 95 days by September. The party feels that the momentum should be continued in order to consolidate its position in these states.

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BJP leaders said the road show was a repeat of Modi's Varanasi exercise. "BJP chief said we must work toward fulfilling the PM's idea of new India and work for development".

In the panchayat elections in the state in February, the saffron party was unable to win a higher number of seats than the Biju Janata Dal, which has been in power in Odisha for the past 17 years.

In a sarcastic attack, Shah said that when United Progressive Alliance won the 2004 and 2009 general elections or the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party won the Uttar Pradesh elections in 2007 and 2012, then there was no problem, but now all of sudden questions are being raised about EVMs.

No defections have been heard of so far but what might be going in BJP's favour is the very factor which is being perceived as a testimony of the invincibility of BJP and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik - three back-to-back terms in power.

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Modi, who was clad in all white, beamed and waved at the people gathered on both sides of the road for a glimpse with lotus flowers in their hands. He also paid floral tributes to the freedom fighters and illustrious sons of the soil on his way to the Raj Bhavan.

There have been reports that in its efforts to radically tilt the scales in the state, BJP is even also hard to engineer a split in the BJD.

A two-day meeting of BJP's National Executive begins in Bhubaneswar today.

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