A two-day BJP National Executive meeting began in Odisha on Saturday with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah.
BJP National Executive members, party office-bearers and state unit chief will discuss the future strategy of the party at the meet, which began at 5 p.m. at Sant Kavi Bheem Bhoi Sabhagar at the Janata Maidan.
BJP President Amit Shah is scheduled to address the participants during the day whereas Modi will deliver the address during the concluding session on Sunday.
Party sources said 2019 Odisha assembly elections are likely to take the centre stage at the meeting, where political and economic resolutions would also be adopted.
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.
Earlier, Shah held a meeting with party office-bearers to set the meeting agenda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also led a roadshow and mingled with crowds at several places breaking security protocol as he arrived here 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 Rover’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 “new era of politics” 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.
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 Minister’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 ‘Modi .. Modi’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Bande Mataram’.
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 BJP’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.