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BJP to go alone in Odisha in 2019: Amit Shah

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Odisha: “Getting award from some magazine doesn’t mean development,” says Amit ShahBhubaneswar: BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday ruled out the possibility of any alliance with any party in Odisha for the 2019 Assembly elections in the state.

“BJP will contest the elections alone. There is no question of forming any alliance,” said Shah addressing a crowded media conference at the party state headquarters here on the second day of his three-day visit to the state.

Reiterating his ‘Mission 120’ – winning 120 out of the 147 Assembly seats in Odisha – for the 2019 elections, the BJP President said, “This may look impossible for some people who have grown old. But the BJP, which is young in spirit, will definitely succeed in achieving its goal as we have done in many states like Uttar Pradesh and Manipur.”

On the question of whether Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party in Odisha, Shah said the party hasn’t decided on any candidate yet.

“The decision is yet to be taken,” he said adding the State will get a young leader.

Replying to a question on whether a change of guard in the Congress would affect the chances of his party in the next elections, Shah said; “Congress is shrinking everywhere in the country. So it will not affect us in any way.”

Mounting a scathing attack on Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik without naming him, Shah said; “Getting an award from some magazine doesn’t mean development.” He was clearly referring to the Best Administrator award that the Odisha Chief Minister won at the Outlook Speak Out Awards recently.

Accusing the Naveen Patnaik of inefficiency, corruption and worse, the BJP National President listed the failures of the Odisha government like Kalahandi’ Dana Majhi, Nagada malnutrition deaths, chit fund scams and drought.

Claiming that no previous government had given the amount of assistance to Odisha that the NDA government led by Narendra Modi had given, Shah sought an answer from the BJD government where all that money had gone.

On the Mahanadi river water dispute, Shah said a tribunal would be formed soon and assured that Odisha will not be deprived of even ‘one litre’ of Mahanadi river water

He further said that the Modi government, which is committed to honour poor and backward classes, had set a target to provide electricity to all villages by May 2018.