BJP National President Amit Shah would visit in April to Odisha.

BJP national president Amit Shah would visit the State for three days in April. Though Shah’s detailed tour programme is yet to be finalised, sources said he would hold multiple rallies and chair key meetings with the State party leadership to chalk out strategies to take on the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD), whose Government has been ruling for 17 years without an interruption.

Following the BJP’s recent impressive electoral success in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand and formation of Governments in four States, Shah is “looking at the East”, said the sources. Shah’s visit to Odisha is also significant after the saffron party gaining a strong foothold in the State’s recent panchayat elections. The visit is considered as an indicator to the party’s desire to strengthen its hold in the State here before the 2019 Assembly polls.

The BJP has already emerged as the principal opposition party in Odisha replacing the Congress. Sources said Shah would formally open a ‘War Room’ in the State for the 2019 general elections. Senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said the UP election results have proved that people of the country appreciate the development activities being initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Shah.

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