Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday led a roadshow and mingled with crowds at several places breaking security protocol as he arrived in Bhuibaneshwar to attend the two-day BJP national executive meeting with saffron expansion in Odisha being its key agenda.
A large number of people stood along the road as Modi stood on his Range Roverâ€™s foot rest with its door open acknowledging the cheering and slogan-chanting masses.
Odisha BJP chief Basanta Panda claimed that his road show will herald a â€œnew era of politicsâ€ in the state, hopeful that his party, always a marginal force in this eastern state, will emerge as the key challenger to the ruling BJD by the time next Lok Sabha and assembly polls arrive in 2019.
It was almost a 9-km long roadshow starting from the city airport to the Raj Bhawan and then to the executive meeting venue.
Here are the highlights:
#7:15PM: Ravi Shankar Prasad after BJP national executive meeting:
-Amit Shah expressed concerns over Kerala, as after formation of left-government, number of killings in state have increased
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-Amit Shah said we expected political parties to accept defeat honestly but they are making excuses and one of those excuses is EVMs
PM Narendra Modi and senior BJP Leader LK Advani at BJP's National Executive meet in Bhubaneshwar
Odisha: PM Narendra Modi and senior BJP Leader LK Advani at BJP's National Executive meet in Bhubaneshwar pic.twitter.com/66qM4ka6Xoâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) April 15, 2017
Bhubaneshwar: BJP Pres Amit Shah receives PM Modi at BJP national Exec Meet venue
Bhubaneshwar: BJP Pres Amit Shah receives PM Modi at BJP national Exec Meet venue; inside visuals of the meeting pic.twitter.com/qhS0jl76bVâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) April 15, 2017
PM Modi waves at supporters as he proceeds towards the venue of BJP National Executive Meet in Bhubaneshwar
Odisha: PM Modi waves at supporters as he proceeds towards the venue of BJP National Executive Meet in Bhubaneshwar. pic.twitter.com/oeVnkHsNjRâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) April 15, 2017
â€” ANI (@ANI_news) April 15, 2017
PM Modi arrives for BJP's national executive meeting in Bhubaneswar, Odisha pic.twitter.com/RSbb0mfSVuâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) April 15, 2017
An impressive show by the BJP in recent local body polls in the state, and internal fights in the BJD have boosted its morale. Shah was presented with a garland of 74 lotus, a reference to the majority mark in the 147-seat Odisha assembly.
Modi, who was clad in all white, beamed and waved at the people gathered on both sides of the road for a glimpse with lotus flowers in their hands.
Defying the security cordon he even got off his vehicle a couple of times, walked up to people, greeted them and even shook hands with some of them.
He also offered floral tributes to freedom fighters and illustrious sons of the soil on his way to the Raj Bhavan.
As the Prime Ministerâ€™s 9 km-long roadshow passed through the main road connecting the airport and the Raj Bhavan, the air was rent with the chants of â€™Modi .. Modiâ€™, â€˜Bharat Mata Ki Jaiâ€™ and â€˜Bande Mataramâ€™.
The state BJP also organised folk dance, songs and folk music at different places along the route taken by the Prime Minister.
He received lotus flowers when he was felicitated by members of the BJPâ€™s Mahila Morcha in front of the Raj Bhavan.
After a 20-minute halt at Raj Bhavan, Modi resumed his roadshow. He got off the vehicle and walked about half-a-km near Jaidev Vihar to mingle freely with the people before arriving at Janata Maidan, the venue of the two-day national executive.
(With inputs from PTI)