BJP president JP Nadda on Saturday (January 9) will launch his party’s door-to-door campaign to woo farmers of the state and to dispel anti-farmer charges against the Centre amidst call by farmer bodies to intensify their stir.
Nadda will launch the BJP’s Ek Mutho Chal (fistful of rice grains) programme wherein the party set a target to visit over a month houses of farmers across the state’s 48,000 villages, collecting rice, vegetables and other farm produces.
The idea behind the campaign is to utilise this mass-contact programme to make an attempt to allay the concern of farmers about the new farm laws introduced by the BJP-led central government.
Coinciding with the BJP’s programme, a joint forum of farmers’ bodies of the state too has decided to intensify its protests against the three farm laws in the state from January 9, lining up a slew of programmes.
From January 9, a sit-in demonstration demanding scrapping of farm laws would start in Kolkata’s Dharmatala area, said convenor of the joint forum Amal Halder, who is also the secretary of the state unit of the All India Kishan Sabha.
On January 13, copies of the agriculture laws would be burnt across the state followed by a three-day demonstration from January 20 in Kolkata. January 23, the birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose, will be observed as ‘Azad Hind Kisan Divas’ while on Republic Day on January 26, tractor rallies will be organised in every district.
So far protests against the farm laws were sporadic in the state. But now as the farmer organisations are intensifying their movement against the central laws, it has become imperative for the BJP to launch a damage control drive to prevent any negative impact of the laws in the party’s electoral prospect in the ensuing assembly elections in the state.
Nadda is slated to kick-start the BJP’s campaign from Burdwan district, the rice bowl of the state, collecting grains from houses of five farmers’ families, according to BJP sources. The campaign will then be carried forward by other party leaders and members across the state.
With the grains and vegetables collected from farming households, the party would organise community feast in villages, said BJP leader Krishna Ghosh.
During the drive and the community feasts, the party functionaries would explain to the farmers the positive aspects of the new laws, the BJP leaders said.
The BJP is under attack from its rival parties as well as farmers’ organisations for failing to address the concern of the farmers over the contentious agriculture laws.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last month had twice interacted over the phone with farmers protesting against the farm laws at New Delhi’s Singhu border, and assured them of her support in their protest.
The ruling TMC’s ally Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has also last week launched a state-wide protests against the agriculture laws.