GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
2-min read

PM's Vision for East & BJP's Expansion Plan Are in Sync: Dharmendra Pradhan

In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18's Marya Shakil, Dharmendra Pradhan says his party has ‘special plans’ for not only Odisha but all eastern states and any opposition leader who is ready to commit to the leadership of Narendra Modi is welcome to join BJP.

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18maryashakil

Updated:April 15, 2017, 12:39 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Bharatiya Janata Party is set to enter Odisha in a big way. The party’s national executive meet in Bhubaneswar this weekend is a clear sign of the things to come. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who has earned the image of an able administrator over the past three years, is the organiser of the event. In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18's Marya Shakil, Pradhan says his party has ‘special plans’ for not only Odisha but all eastern states and any opposition leader who is ready to commit to the leadership of Narendra Modi is welcome to join BJP.

Edited excerpts:

Everyone is curious about the timing and location of the BJP’s national executive meet. Why Bhubaneswar, and why now?

Timing is very important. The Modi government is completing three years this May. After victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, this is the first executive meet. The Prime Minister has a development vision for the eastern parts of India. Bhubaneswar is the epicentre of politics in east India — of West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and parts of Andhra. Amit Shah has always said that he wants to expand the base and strengthen the party in weaker areas like Coromandel Coast. PM has often said that unless eastern India stands on its own, India won’t be able to grow.

BJP already seems in campaign mode in Odisha and West Bengal. What are your plans ahead of 2019?

We want to increase our numbers in these parts of the country. Not only in Odisha, but from Kerala to Assam to north-eastern parts. Traditionally the party was not so powerful in these areas, but in the last three years we won Assam and Manipur, and our base in Bengal, Odisha and Kerala has increased manyfold. The party is gaining traction in Tamil Nadu. In Andhra Pradesh, we have alliance and the government is doing well. In Telangana, the party is doing well. In these areas, the party has special plans of strengthening and expanding at grassroots level.

Will we see a repeat of Uttarakhand strategy, wherein Congress leaders joined BJP? Will you reach out to leaders in Biju Janata Dal?

We want to strengthen our party. Whoever is willing to commit to my party, our leadership, PM Modi, is welcome.

Naveen Patnaik had supported the demonetisation drive. Don’t you think that your expansion plans in Odisha will impact the upcoming Presidential elections?
Presidential elections are a completely different ballgame. I am hopeful that we are a mature democracy and this will have no impact on Presidential elections. NDA can comfortably choose the next President.

Some are saying the time has come for a President from tribal background. What is you take?
This is not my area. The party’s growth and expansion plans shouldn’t be linked to the Presidential elections.​​

Also Watch

| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV