BJP will fight next Odisha polls alone: Shah
Bhubaneswar: BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday announced that his party would fight the next Odisha assembly polls alone.
He also slammed the Naveen Patnaik government for its "incompetence", saying benefits of over Rs 4 lakh crore given by the Centre to the state had not reached the masses.
The BJP president, who is on a three-day tour of Odisha, pitched for a younger leadership to run the state and came down heavily on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, saying backwardness and poverty continued due to his government's "misrule, inefficiency and corruption".
Shah, however, parried a query on who would be the BJP's face in the state, saying the party had not decided on it.
"BJP will fight the next elections in Odisha alone. There will be no alliance with any other political party," Shah said at a press conference here.
He also claimed that his party would win over 120 seats in the 147-member assembly.
Asked how his party planned to go to 120 from the 10 it bagged in 2014, Shah said his party won over three-fourths of the seats in Uttar Pradesh after getting only 15 per cent votes in the previous poll. He added that the BJP had won 18 per cent votes in the eastern state.
The BJP had received huge support from people in the last panchayat elections held earlier this year, he noted.
The BJD government was in its fourth consecutive term in the state, which lagged behind other states in development, he pointed out. Shah evaded a question on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would contest the next Lok Sabha poll from Puri after having fought from Varanasi last time and said the parliamentary election was "far away".
Sharpening his attack on the state government, he alleged that people associated closely with the government were involved in scandals, including the multi-crore chit-fund scam and the mining scam.
A BJP government in the state will ensure that no one involved in scams goes free, he said. Shah slammed the BJD government over malnutrition deaths of tribal children in Nagada in Jajpur district and the lives claimed by Japanese encephalitis in Malkangiri. All these showed that healthcare services and welfare schemes had collapsed in the state, he said.
'Country made substantial progress during Modi rule'
Bhubaneswar: BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday said India had made substantial progress in different sectors and carved a separate identity for itself in the international arena during three years of the NDA regime.
Citing an instance, Shah said surgical strikes had enhanced the image of India across the globe and there was recognition that the country was capable of defending its frontiers.
"The surgical strike speaks of the strong political will of the Modi government. This government can do everything to defend the country," he told reporters.
India became a global leader in space technologies after the launch of at least four satellites during the NDA rule, he said.
Stating that there was overall transformation since the NDA had come to power, Shah said India now had one of the fastest growing economies in the world.