The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday exuded confidence in winning 120 of the 147 Assembly seats in Odisha in the elections to be held in 2019, the party's leader and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Sunday.
Pradhan was speaking in Bargarh district where the saffron party had made arrangements in all the 270 booths in bypoll-bound Bijepur Assembly segment for people to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Mann ki Baat' programme on All India Radio.
We are confident that the BJP will win 120 seats in 2019 Assembly polls as people of Odisha want to get rid of Biju Janata Dal (BJD). We will form the next government in the state, Pradhan told reporters after the broadcast of "Mann ki Baat" programme.
BJP President Amit Shah had earlier set a target of winning 120 seats in the next assembly polls in the state.
Claiming that Modi's image and development agenda would bring victory of BJP in Odisha, Pradhan said the people of the state desperately want a political change as they were disillusioned with the misrule and corruption during BJD regime for the last 18 years.
"The BJP's victory march would begin with the by-election in Bijepur assembly segment as people have confidence and faith in the leadership of the prime minister," the union minister said.
The Bijepur assembly seat has remained vacant since August 22 this year following the death of sitting Congress MLA Subal Sahu.
The bypoll schedule is yet to be announced.
Countering the BJP leader's claim, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme is held from time to time in which the prime minister peaks on various issues, but the state BJP unit has sought to create a hype about today's programme in Bijepur to mislead people.
"The BJP's action showed its leaders were fearing defeat in the Bijepur bypoll," he said.