New Delhi: Facing large-scale protests by farmer unions, the ruling BJP has decided to hit the ground and spread awareness about the three new controversial agriculture laws passed by the Narendra Modi government earlier this year.
The protests originated in Punjab even before the laws were passed by Parliament and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, and since then have escalated into a weeks-long protest by farmers from various states at the borders of national capital Delhi.
According to BJP sources, the party is concerned about the ‘anti-farmer’ narrative building up against it due to the ongoing protests, and is taking these measures to ‘correct’ it.
“After the CAA, this is the second time that the government is facing such protests, and has already taken steps to ensure the situation doesn’t go out of control. PM Modi and other ministers have been emphasising the benefits of the farm laws, and in the coming few days, this will be intensified,” said a senior BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified.
The BJP will initiate a reach-out programme to make farmers aware of the advantages of the laws, and is planning to organise over 700 press conferences for the purpose, beginning Friday, 11 December.
Then, from 14 to 16 December, it is planning to organise kisan sammelans at 100-150 prominent places across the country.
BJP farmers’ wing (Kisan Morcha) president Rajkumar Chahar told ThePrint that the “prominent places” will include APMC mandis, dairies and cooperative societies, to ensure the message reaches the maximum number of farmers.
“Apart from this, the Kisan Morcha will also carry out an awareness drive. We want to make the farmers aware of the provisions of the three farm laws as they are being misled by some elements,” Chahar said. “We are open to holding discussions with the farmers, and our government has already made it crystal clear.”
A second senior BJP leader, who did not wish to be named, added that party leaders have been asked to organise press conferences at the district level and reach out to farmers.
“Right from PM Modi to the agriculture minister, we have made it clear that these reforms have been carried out for the benefit of the farmers. Not only this, contrary to what is being spread, nothing has been taken away from the existing laws such as MSP. So the idea is to create awareness about the laws and tell farmers what exactly they mean for them,” the leader said.
The party will organise these programmes especially at the village level. “We will be distributing pamphlets and booklets, and at the same time, we will organise ‘Kisan Chaupal’ to engage directly with the farmers,” added Chahar.