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Naveen Patnaik: We Can Counter BJP Very Well in Odisha BJD strong enough to counter BJP

Naveen Patnaik: We Can Counter BJP Very Well in Odisha BJD strong enough to counter BJP

Bhubaneswar ,4th May 2017 ( Story by Prasant Kumar Bhuyan)-Patnaik said senior BJD leaders, including ministers, are prepared to work for the people at the grassroots level. “A number of ministers and others have told me that they are prepared to go and work in the field level of the party,” he said. His statement comes amid the BJP already targeting Odisha with a vow to oust the BJD, nothing has so far happened leading to uncertainties in many spheres. BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said his party was strong enough to counter the BJP in the state. Also hinting at a ministry reshuffle, he said many ministers had approached him with a wish that they would like to work for the party at the organizational level. “I can assure you that we will counter it (BJP) very well which has been ruling for the last 18 years in the state.The BJP seeks to step up its offensive with a two-day visit of party chief Shah to the state next month Asked about likelihood of ministry reshuffle in the state, Patnaik said, “No, I am not ruling out a possible ministry reshuffle.”Though Patnaik had been saying for last one month that he would reshuffle the council of ministers during his tour With the BJP targeting to oust the BJD, which has been in power for 17 years in the state, the BJD has planned a massive overhaul in the organizational structure chance to return to the ruling party. We are a very strong party,” Patnaik told reporters replying to a question on BJP president Amit Shah’s plan to start his Odisha programme from the chief minister’s home district of Ganjam To a question on whether he would welcome estranged leaders like Bijay Mohapatra, Dilip Ray and Prafulla Ghadei back into the party, the chief minister said, “As I had said yesterday, the party will take it on case to case basis.  It has already effected changes in its youth wing and formed a new trade union to woo the unorganised labourers. We are a very strong party. A number of ministers and others have told me they are ready to go and work in the field level,” Patnaik told reporters here. The statement came ahead of BJP President Amit Shah’s visit to Odisha in June as part of his 95-days programme to connect with party workers at the booth level across the country. Asked about a ministry reshuffle, Patnaik said: “No, I am not ruling out a possible reshuffle.”It was a clear indication that some ministers will be assigned the task of strengthening the party at the grassroot level to counter the BJP, BJP in the state and hinted at an early reshuffle in the three-year-old ministry.“I can assure you that we will counter it (BJP) very well. The party will decide who can be taken back.”With Patnaik yesterday giving the green signal to take back certain estranged leaders who were either expelled from the BJD for some reason or the other which is strengthening its base in the state. Patnaik’s signal has raised hopes among many former BJD leaders, including former finance minister Ghadai and Panchanan Kanungo, veteran leaders Mohapatra, Ray (both in BJP) and others. The BJD has also planned to re-induct leaders expelled or suspended in the past. “The party will decide who can be taken back.”This has raised hopes among many former BJD leaders including former Finance Ministers Prafulla Ghadai and Panchanan Kanungo and veterans Bijoy Mohapatra and Dilip Ray.

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