People in Odisha have made up mind for change, difficult for BJD to survive: Modi


PTI, May 20, 2024, 11:58 AM IST

Eyeing major gains for the BJP in Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he is witnessing a high intensity of anti-incumbency against the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal, making it very difficult for the regional party to survive.

In the eastern state for another day of hectic campaigning, Modi told PTI Videos in an interview late Sunday that people have made up their mind for a change in Odisha, where the assembly polls are being held alongside the parliamentary elections.

People will vote positively for the BJP in choosing a government at the Centre, he said, adding that a section of society will do negative voting due to the anti- incumbency for the state government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Modi said, ”We will win the elections on the basis of people’s faith. Even though we don’t have a big face, we are still the second largest party in the Assembly. In Lok Sabha also, we have been at number two. My party has worked very hard in the last five years to reach number one from number two.” He was responding to a question about the BJP’s prospects against the BJD as the party lacks a well-entrenched face like Patnaik, who has been at the helm since 2000.

”I am seeing in my rallies that the intensity of negative feelings is very high against the state government. This is why it is very difficult for BJD to survive,” the prime minister said.

Asked about the alliance talks between the two parties in the run up to the polls before they decided to fight separately, the prime minister noted that the BJP fought against the BJD in the 2014 as well as 2019 elections. People supported the BJP, he said, in a big way in the last polls.

With the BJD often lending its support to his government in Parliament on a host of issues, Modi said it was one of several parties which supported his government on issues of national importance from time to time.

”It is our commitment that the next CM of Odisha from BJP will be a son of the soil. The people of Odisha deserve a better alternative after having given more than two decades to the BJD.” The BJP’s Lok Sabha seat tally in Odisha in 2019 had soared to eight from one. Odisha accounts for 21 Lok Sabha seats. It has also emerged as the biggest challenger to the BJD in the state politics, with the once-powerful Congress finding hard to fight back.

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