Modi’s Visit To Balangir Tomorrow, Surcharges State Politics

Bhubaneswar : Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third visit to Odisha on Tuesday in less than a month has generated much heat in the State’s political firmament.

The back-to-back visits of the prime minister are seen as the BJP’s efforts to strengthen the party’s network in the state ahead of the 2019 general election. The state assembly polls are slated to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik heading his BJD government will seek re-election for the fifth straight time.

Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly polls, all eyes are on the BJP’s principal campaigner as to whether he will alter his subdued stand to assail the State government on corruption and lack of governance issues in the public meeting tomorrow in Balangir tomorrow.

Political analysts are of the view that congress’s victory and BJP’s defeats in three Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattishgarh have forced Modi to soften his stand against the Naveen-led regional outfit. BJD’s support in government formation at the centre will come in handy in the event BJP-led NDA fails to get majority in Lok Sabha. BJD is being seen as a possible ally extending outside support to BJP in exigencies of the situation.

Modi addressing a public meeting in Baripada on January 5 had assailed the Congress, the principal opponent of the government at the centre, while sparing Naveen Government-led government in the State. For strange reason, Modi refrained from launching assault on Odisha’s long-serving chief minister Naveen Patnaik while targeting the Congress party and its central leaders. Similarly Modi in his earlier trip to the State on December 24 had made a veiled attack on Naveen-led government.

Modi’s visit has generated considerable hype and enthusiasm. But the BJP supremo’s act of refraining from launching scathing attack on Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in earlier trips has left the grass-root party cadres disillusioned a lot. Large section of party cadres felt that BJD government’s criticism by Modi was largely on a subdued scale in Khurda and Baripada.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Odisha’s Balangir on January 15 and will participate in a function to unveil a series of Government of India projects worth Rs. 1,545 crores.

This is the Prime Minister’s third visit to Odisha from the past month. On his first visit, to Khurdha in December, the Prime Minister launched Rs 14, 523 crore worth projects in the state and during his second visit on January 5, he inaugurated projects worth Rs 4,733 crores, taking the total amount of projects in Odisha to Rs. 20, 801 crores in the past month.

The Prime Minister will launch six Ministry of Railways projects, including the launch of 813 kilometres of electrified lines from Jharsuguda to Vizinagaram and Sambalpur to Angul. Prime Minister Modi will also dedicate a Multi Modal Logistics Park (MMLP) Jharsuguda, which will facilitate Import/Export and Domestic Cargo, including Private Freight Traffic (PFT), and flag off a new train on the Balangir-Bichhupali route.

Other projects include laying the foundation stone for a permanent building at the Kendriya Vidyalaya at Sonepur and will inaugurate new Passport Sewa Kendras at Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapur, Puri, Phulbani, Bargarh and Balangir.