It seems that BJP has realised that it has a fair chance of winning in the state of Odisha which is going through Lok Sabha elections and assembly polls simultaneously. While the first phase of voting was held on April 11, the subsequent phases of polling will be held on April 18, 23 and 29. Realising the importance of local issues when state assembly polls and Lok Sabha polls are held simultaneously, the BJP has made big and ambitious promises for the people of Odisha, if the party comes to power.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced that subsidised Re. 1 ration package will be provided to National Food Security Act beneficiaries in the state if the party comes to power. Pradhan made this announcement while speaking at ‘Vijay Sankalp Samavesh’ organised by the BJP at the Choudwar assembly segment falling within the Cuttack Lok Sabha constituency. This is going to be a game changer for the state of Odisha as 3.26 crore beneficiaries will be benefitted by it in the state.
The union minister also announced that if the saffron party is voted to power, it will hike the remuneration of Anganwadi workers to Rs. 15,000. Not only this, but the pension amount under different social security schemes will also be enhanced. Another major announcement was about giving mopeds to college going female students under the ‘Sailabala Two-Wheeler’ scheme. The BJP has also promised to end traffic woes in the major cities of the state by launching Metro projects. Pradhan said, “In order to address the inherent road traffic problems of Choudwar, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, the BJP government in the state will take up an ambitious metro project to link these three historic cities.”
The BJP has witnessed a rise in popularity in the state of Odisha in the recent past. In the panchayat elections held in the state in 2017, BJP had emerged as the second largest party in the state beating Congress even while BJD had won the majority seats comfortably. According to the results declared by the State Election Commission (SEC), the BJD had managed to win 473 while the BJP had won in 297 of the 846 Zilla Parishad seats. This was a huge result considering that in the panchayat elections of 2012, BJD had won 654 seats, followed by the Congress which had won 128 and BJP had been restricted to just 36 of the total 854 seats. These results from the 2017 Panchayat elections would have worried the BJD and its leaders since BJP seems to have made inroads into the villages of Odisha. Last year, an online survey had predicted a massive victory for the BJP in the assembly polls.
The BJP has done well to give one final push with three remaining phases of polls in the state of Odisha. It would indeed be a massive victory for the party if it is able to overcome the BJD in the state of Odisha.