Bhubaneswar: BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday hailed the warriors of Paika rebellion in Odisha who fought the British as he launched the party's grassroots connect drive in Ganjam district, home turf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
On his way to Hugulapata area in Ganjam Shah had a brief halt at Khordha and paid floral tributes to the fighters of Paika Rebellion of 1817.
"When the East India Company started tinkering with the revenue system in 1803, the farming community of Odisha rose in rebellion," the BJP President said in a Twitter post.
"The great Paika Rebellion in 1817 was led by Bakshi Jagabandhu Paika Bakshi projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity," he tweeted.
As he launched the party's grassroots connect exercise 'Mo Booth Sabuthu Majboot', the BJP chief was accorded rousing receptions at a number of places during his journey from Bhubaneswar to Ganjam, the home district of Naveen Patnaik, who is also the president of ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the state.
Shah was accompanied by senior BJP leaders like Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state party president Basant Panda.
Shah's three-day Odisha visit is aimed at expanding the party's base in the state ahead of the 2019 elections.
He is scheduled to visit Jajpur district tomorrow to attend mass connect programmes. On July 6, he is slated to attend similar programmes in Khurda district.
He is also slated to meet senior party leaders and hold discussion on strategies to be adopted to further widen its base in Odisha during his visit, where Assembly
elections are due in 2019 together with the Lok Sabha polls.
Shah's visit is part of BJPs strategy to strengthen the party in the state.
Buoyed by its impressive performance in the panchayat elections in the state in February this year, BJP gearing up to strengthen the party in Odisha.