Bhubaneswar, April 14:
BJP President Amit Shah on Friday celebrated Maha Bishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti, which is also the Odia New Year’s day, with party leaders at BJP state headquarters here.
Shah drank ‘pana’, a special drink made from ripe ‘bela’ (wood apple) on the occasion.
“The Odia cultural programme impressed me immensely. I along with Odia people and party workers relished ‘bela pana’,” tweeted Shah in Odia language.
Though there are many kinds of ‘panas’ prepared in different parts of the state, but the most popular is the one made from ripe wood apple.
Earlier, Shah, who is in the state capital to attend the BJP National Executive meeting on Saturday, was given a rousing welcome at the city airport here. He was offered lotus garland by state BJP chief Basant Panda and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Shah then proceeded towards AG Square amid tight security along with a bike rally by party workers where he paid floral tributes to architect of Indian Constitution, Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
“The energy and enthusiasm of karyakartas of @BJP4Odisha is remarkable. I am sure BJP will emerge as the leading political force in Odisha,” tweeted Shah.
While Home minister Rajnath Singh has already arrived here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders and BJP chief ministers will arrive on Saturday.
The BJP has planned a virtual road show for Modi when he arrives here on Saturday. He would be greeted at several places by party workers during his road travel from airport to the Raj Bhavan. Modi will stay at teh Raj Bhavan.
“The Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive at the state capital by 3.30 p.m. on Saturday. He will proceed to the Raj Bhavan before attending the BJP meet at Janata Maidan at 5 p.m.,” said Pradhan said.
However, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is unlikely to attend the meeting on health grounds, said Pradhan.
Janata Maidan has been named after saint-poet Bhima Bhoi, who though blind since birth, wrote a number of revolutionary poems and his ideology has been appreciated by several states and even the United Nations, said Pradhan. (IANS)