Union ministers and senior BJP leaders made a beeline on Sunday to hold chaupals in districts across the state to interact with villagers even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address on the Panchayati Raj Day from Jamshedpur was beamed live on giant screens and radios given by the party free of cost to the villagers.
Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was the notable exception who could not attend his scheduled chaupal in Rae Bareli. Elsewhere, villagers came face-to-face with ministers who organised the village-level gatherings to mark the ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’.
Ministers briefed the villagers about the pro-farmer and pro-poor schemes launched by the Centre and appealed to them to bring BJP to power in the next year’s elections.
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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, at his chaupal in Siswan village — in PM’s constituency Varanasi — told the masses he would talk to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav regarding the farmers’ complaint that they were not getting financial help released for them by the Modi government.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani addressed a Chaupal in Makdoompur Kalan village in Amethi where she announced the coming up of a new Panchayat Bhawan and toilets for women. In a separate meeting with workers of BJP’s IT cell, Irani asked them to use social media to “ensure the party’s continuous presence in the public”.
Union Minister Uma Bharti in Jhansi asked people to bring BJP to power in 2017 and “get rid of the problems” faced by the Bundelkhand region. Union Minister Kalraj Mishra in Deoria toed Bharti’s line when he appealed to the villagers to support BJP in the Assembly polls.
Party national president Amit Shah held a chaupal in Ghaziabad with state president Keshav Prasad Maurya and state general secretary (Organisation) Sunil Bansal. Shah highlighted the schemes run by the Centre and the decisions taken for the “development of villagers” and for the “empowerment of farmers.”
BJP state vice-president Ashok Kataria termed the programme a “success” as it “mobilised the party cadre”, all of whom suggested that this should be “continued in the future as well.”