Odisha would be PM Modi's lab for testing 'pro-poor welfare schemes'

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Responding to a poser on choosing Odisha as the venue for the meet, Ram Madhav said the state has been one of the best among the BJP-governed states and therefore, the management chose to hold the meet here.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's two-day national executive meeting is set to begin in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on Saturday evening.

"To blame the electronic voting machines for defeat during the elections is like disrespecting the Election Commission", Shah said.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said he is not anxious over national executive meeting here by BJP, whose leaders have claimed that the party would emerge victorious in the next assembly election.

Prasad also told media persons that the BJP chief would tour, for 95 days, different parts of the country till September. "BJP's golden period should be associated with country's golden period", Shah said. When BJP lost the 2004 and 2009 general elections or state elections like the one in Delhi, EVMs were just fine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Bhubaneswar around 3.45pm to attend a power-packed BJP national executive meet.

Earlier in the day, state units presented their report during the office bearers' meeting. "Among the excuses, EVMs are being discussed", Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad quoted Amit Shah as saying during his presidential speech. "They will meet party workers", Prasad said.

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Shah also condemned the recent political killings of BJP workers in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal.

On Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik " s charge that the BJP is spreading false reports of split in his BJD party, Pradhan asserted that there was nothing wrong if the "clean and strong" leaders of other parties join the BJP to show their commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2017, they said the BJP has appeared to have reached its peak.

Its win in the state polls was due to the Modi government's pro-poor and welfare policies, Shah said, reaffirming that the prime minister was the most popular leader since Independence. The party feels that the momentum should be continued in order to consolidate its position in these states.

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.

PM Modi, who landed at the state capital in the afternoon, held a roadshow from the airport to the Raj Bhavan, covering a distance of around 8 km.