NEW DELHI: Ahead of the budget session, which is likely to be stormy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go on overdrive to hard sell the government’s initiatives aimed at farmers to fight the perception of being a pro-corporate government, as alleged by opposition parties. Modi will address four rallies for farmers in as many states.
The first phase of rallies will be held in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. BJP sources said, Modi will talk about the recently announced crop insurance scheme, irrigation scheme, neem-coating of urea and soil health cards. The BJP’s Kisan Morcha is separately holding samellans to educate farmers on the crop insurance scheme which aimed to benefit farmers whose crops are affected by weather. The BJP said the Modi government had even changed the name of the Agriculture Ministry to put more emphasis on farmers, with a separate television channel - Kissan TV -- and also Mobile App being launched.
The planned rallies will take place in Madhya Pradesh on February 18, Odisha on February 21, Karnataka on February 27 and Uttar Pradesh on February 28. Modi will hold a rally in Bargarh in Odisha, where Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has held a rally for farmers.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate an oil refinery at Paradeep on February 7 and visit Puri. The dates of these rallies fall either before the budget session, or a few days ahead the the union budget being presented in the Lok Sabha.