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After Gujarat Election Result, Will BJP Re-Think Its “120 Target” In Odisha?

19 December 2017

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo / Tapan Das

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Bhubaneswar: Amid the Exit Polls projected and BJP’s much touted “Mission 150” seats in the Gujarat assembly elections, Monday’s real result has gone awry as BJP bagged 99 seats while Congress gained much ground with 77 seats after a neck a neck fight in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national chief Amit Shah.

Thus in the aftermath of the Gujarat poll repercussion, poll pundits in Odisha now question if the BJP henceforth ruminate over its chieftain’s “Mission 120” bull eye target set for Odisha versus BJD ruled by four-time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Under such a political scenario, BJD vice-president Surya Narayan Patro reacted, “Gujarat is Gujarat, Odisha is Odisha. Odisha is not comparable with Gujarat. Now Odisha is synonymous with Naveen Patnaik. Trouncing Naveen Patnaik’s brand image, his works, Odisha’s development and BJD’s strong organization is a Herculean task and prove to be a complete dream for the BJP despite its bare win in Gujarat.”

“Same Modi and same Amit Shah were claiming to clinch 150 seats in Gujarat. As they ironically came down to 80, here in Odisha if at the worst case they gain 8 seats, it would be remarkable,” the senior BJD leader lampooned.

In his reactions, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan criticized, “What had Amit Shah touted? He had claimed ‘150’ out of 182 assembly seats in Gujarat. Prime Minister had also reiterated the tall claims. But, they couldn’t cross 100. In Odisha context Amit Shah has touted much earlier about ‘Mission 120’.”

“You’ll see the general public will not accept such a pride. In a democracy, there is no place for such a vice,” quipped the OPCC chief.

On the contrary, senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi defended, “The 150 target was set for encouraging our party workers. Had the target been 100, it would have gone down further. There are several factors like Jignesh, Bighnesh, Hardik et al joining hands with the Congress. The way false propaganda against GST and demonetization was made, it had a toll on the result. GST was dubbed and propagated as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’. Also casetism factor was raised.”

“The 120 target has been set for Odisha. In a bid to gain it, our party here has tightened up its belt and put its shoulders to the wheels. In order to strengthen and expand the party organization in the grassroots level, all out efforts have already been launched. To create awareness among the mass against the BJD Government here, protests and agitations are being organized at every RI circle, block, police station limits. We are leaving no stone unturned to oust the incumbent BJD Government in Odisha. I’m optimistic that BJP will this time wrest power by letting the BJD to bite the dust,”

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Surya Narayan Patro, Vice-President, BJD, Odisha

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Prasad Harichandan, President, PCC, Odisha

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Pratap Sarangi, Senior BJP Leader, Odisha