- Karza Maaf (loan waiver).
- Bijli bill half (50 per cent reduction in power bill).
- Samarthan mulya ka karo hisab (decide the minimum support price of crops).
These are some of the promises with which Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will go to farmers when he starts his month-long Deoria to Delhi “Kisan Yatra” on September 6. The promises find mention in a “Kisan Mang Patra (farmers’ memorandum)” that the party will distribute among farmers, seeking feedback and support.
“My yatra from Deoria to Delhi starting September 6 is a campaign to secure the rights of the poor, farmers and labourers in government resources,” Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter Saturday.
The nearly 2,500-km long yatra will begin from Panchlari Kritpura village of Rudrapura Assembly constituency of Deoria district in eastern Uttar Pradesh and move across 39 districts, 55 Lok Sabha constituencies and 223 Assembly constituencies.
The “Kisan Mang Patras”, in three different sets, have already reached the concerned districts through which the yatra will pass. The “Mang Patras” carry a picture of Rahul Gandhi against the backdrop of drought-affected fields, and has blank spaces earmarked where farmers will fill in the required details such as name, village, block, district and cellphone number. It also seeks to know the amount in loans pending against each farmer.
Of the two other “Kisan Mang Patras”, one seeks to know about the pending electricity bill of the farmers, while the other asks the farmers to quote the minimum support price they want for their produce.
The farmers will have to sign on the “Kisan Mang Patra”, which also carries a statement which says that “for loan waiver of farmers, bringing down electricity bills by half and for better minimum support price for crops, we support this campaign of Congress party”.
The farmers who sign on the memorandum would be given a token receipt carrying a symbolic stamp saying “Karza Maaf (loan waived)”.
With the initiative, Congress is hoping to create a votebank in the state while reminding the farmers about how the previous UPA government had waived over Rs 70,000 crore loans.
Sources in the party said that on each day of the yatra, Rahul Gandhi will address at least two to three “Khaat Sabhas (meetings on charpoy),” which would be in the form of large public meetings.
Rahul Gandhi also tweeted his programme for the first day of the yatra, during which he will meet people along the way in a door-to-door campaign collecting the “Kisan Mang Patras”, and will hold one-on-one interactions with farmers at the “Khaat Sabha” in Rudrapur.
He will also undertake a roadshow in Deoria, and will hold another interaction with farmers in Kanchanpur village, and another “Khaat Sabha” in Kasia.
Rahul will stop at Gorakhpur for the night before continuing his journey.
He will hold similar interactions with farmers and roadshows the next day and will spend the second night at Basti. In all, he will hold ‘khaat sabhas’ in 21 districts.
During the yatra period, a team of national spokespersons will be camping in Lucknow to apprise the media about the developments.
Besides, a team of party spokespersons would be meeting the media at least twice every week. “Also, a panel of leaders have been formed, who will participate in the television debates and officially put forth the views of the Congress,” senior party leader and national spokesperson Meem Afzal said.