PM Modi targets BJD’s 25-year rule, alleges failure to lift Odisha from poverty

The Prime Minister alleged that there is widespread public anger against BJD’s leadership due to the lack of development. “There’s anger against BJD leaders among people in Odisha,” he claimed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a blistering attack on the long-ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha today, accusing it of failing to uplift the state from poverty despite being in power for 25 years.

Addressing a rally in Bargarh ahead of the 2024 state assembly polls, Modi stated, “In 25 years, one entire generation grows up and starts off their new lives. But, BJD has failed to lift Odisha from poverty in 25 years.”

The Prime Minister alleged that there is widespread public anger against BJD’s leadership due to the lack of development. “There’s anger against BJD leaders among people in Odisha,” he claimed.

Modi’s comments were seen as the BJP’s opening salvo in its campaign to wrest power from the BJD, which has governed Odisha uninterrupted since 2000 under Naveen Patnaik’s leadership.

The BJP is seeking to repeat its successful “double engine” model of governance by coming to power in Odisha as it currently rules the Center as well as several other states.

Political observers say the BJP faces an uphill task in displacing the deeply entrenched BJD, which continues to maintain a formidable presence across Odisha. They suggest the saffron party may seek to drive a narrative of underdevelopment to convince voters for a change.

With Odisha still ranking poorly on many human development indices, both parties are expected to go full throttle in claiming credit for progress made while attacking each other’s record. How voters respond to these combative poll campaigns remains to be seen.