Bhubaneswar : After two rallies by BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Odisha, the ruling BJD has planned three mega ones ahead of the coming elections. “The party has planned three mega rallies on March 5 on legendary Biju Patnaik’s birth anniversary,” BJD vice-president and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das told reporters here today.
A youth rally would be held at Bhubaneswar on March 5, and another by women at Berhampur besides a third by kendu leaf pluckers and construction workers at Sambalpur. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to address all three meetings, party sources said. The three rallies were considered as a reply of the ruling party to the opposition Congress and BJP which organised public meetings at Bhubaneswar and Salipur.
Another party vice-president and Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya said the BJD would launch a 13-day statewide ‘sankha bajao, swabhimaan banchao’ (blow conch cells and keep up self pride) campaign on February 20. The campaign, to be launched by the Chief Minister from Hinjlikatu, his Assembly constituency, would highlight the welfare programmes of the state government, besides raising the issue of negligence of toward Odisha by the central government, Acharya said. Though the ruling party has 35 lakh members, it was planning to launch another membership drive to include five lakh more people in the party.