KOLKATA: A day after the Centre ruled out repealing three farm laws that has triggered large-scale protests, BJP president JP Nadda kicked off the party’s outreach drive in Bengal titled 'Krishak Suraksha Yojana' (farmers’ protection scheme).
Nadda said the new farm laws will not only strengthen the cultivators but also offer them the liberty to sell their produce.
Nadda spent the day in East Burdwan and collected fistfuls of rice from five farmers as part of the outreach drive under the banner of 'Ek Muthhi Chawal'.
"Some political parties are misleading a section of farmers. The new farm laws will not only strengthen the cultivators but also give them the liberty to settle profitable deals with contract buyers. We will make arrangements to get the acts implemented," said Nadda, while addressing a rally. He claimed that during the regime of PM Narendra Modi, the MSP of agricultural products increased by 50 per cent.
Selecting East Burdwan to kick off the outreach drive was said to be politically significant because the district is known as Bengal’s rice bowl. The district produces 28 lakh metric ton of rice out of the state’s total production of 150 lakh metric ton.
"The move is aimed to countering the narrative spun by the BJP’s rivals that the new farm laws will be harmful to the farmers. The plan to launch was focused at endearing the party to over 72 lakh farmers in the state at a time when opposition parties are slamming the saffron camp over the ongoing protest in the national capital region," said a senior BJP leader.
Nadda announced that BJP workers will meet farmers in 40,000 booth areas across Bengal and collect fistfuls of rice from them to deliver a message that the saffron camp-led central government is determined to uplift the farmers. Sources in the BJP said with the rice collected from the farmers will be cooked as prasad and distributed among the cultivators in the state.
Referring to Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s nod to allow the Centre’s PM Kishan Samman Nidhi in the state, Nadda said she (Mamata) of is now allowing the central scheme only after realising that her party is fast losing ground among the farmers in the state.
"There is no use crying over spilt milk now. Bengal stands at 24 out of 28 states in terms of farmers' betterment. I came to the rice bowl of Bengal. This region had a good record of industrial development. In 1947, industrial output was 25 per cent and now it is 3 per cent.
"The BJP will come to power in Bengal and the benefits of the central scheme will be given to the farmers. More than 76 lakh farmers should get the benefit. The people of Bengal have made their mind to welcome the BJP and overthrow the Trinamool Congress," he said.
Referring to attack on his convoy on December 10, Nadda said it was pre-planned. "Criminalisation in Bengal politics is clearly visible. I am a person who went through political movements. As far as the attack on my convoy is concerned, we will combat it politically," he said.
In a roadshow in Burdwan town, Nadda travelled a stretch of 1.5 km. "The presence of people is unbelievable. They are not BJP workers. They are common people. It reflects that the people of Bengal are all set to welcome the BJP," he said.
On the issue of the Hindu refugees from Bangladesh and implementation of CAA, Nadda said once the rules are framed, "we will implement it."