Basant Panda will lead BJP in 2019 election: Arun Singh

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Bhubaneswar: With speculations stemming regarding change of guard in Odisha unit BJP, Arun Singh, the party in-charge of the state today cleared the air by stating that there is no plan to change state president in near future.

Though there were reports that president of the Odisha unit BJP, Basant Panda, will be replaced by veteran saffron leader Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Singh today talking to mediapersons said, “The party will fight the 2019 general elections under the leadership of Basant Panda.”

However he blamed the BJD and Congress for spreading false propaganda regarding change of guard in the state.

Speculations were doing rounds following Sarangi’s Delhi visit where he called on several senior party leaders. Being asked by media regarding his possible new responsibility, not denying of anything surprise, he had said that he is performing his duties with dedication and ready to bear any responsibility party wants to give him.

According to saffron sources, the party is working towards getting a foothold in coastal Odisha and has prepared a blue-print with the twin objective of strengthening the organisation and gaining mass support in the state, following which the party was planning a new guard from coastal Odisha and Sarangi is the best one available from each and every angle – right from his influential personality to motivational orientation of saffron ideology.

If we analyse the strength of the BJP in Odisha, saffron colour is clearly visible in the tribal pockets of Western Odisha and the party’s performance was exceptionally well during panchayat polls in districts such as Bargarh, Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and a few others.

But it was never able to breach the Biju Janata Dal stronghold of coastal Odisha, however, BJP president Amit Shah’s last visit to costal Odisha on July 1 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-year report card rally in Cuttack had stemmed speculations that the saffron party may appoint Sarangi to lead the party.

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