December 13, 2021 10:39:24 pm
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s poll machinery — buoyed by the repeal of the three farm laws and the end of a year-long protest by farm leaders — is slowly spurting back into action in the rural areas of Punjab.
The party’s eyes firmly set on next year’s Assembly elections now, BJP leaders have now started visiting various constituencies across the state, while simultaneously reaching out to the local populace with the help of pamphlets published in Punjabi.
The pamphlets, as seen by The Indian Express, has the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying obeisance at a gurdwara. Below the photo are pointers highlighting how dedicated the Union government was for the welfare of the Sikh community. Some of the points that the party has chosen to cover on its pamphlets are the opening the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib, and getting 1984 accused punished. The fliers also claim that the party had organised special programs on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Purab Utsav and Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th Prakash Purab. The BJP-led Union government also promises to get Guru Granth Sahib’s holy Saroop back from Afghanistan, to bring Sikhs stuck in Afghanistan back home safely and to remove GST from langar, if they were voted to power next year.
Bikramjeet Singh Cheema, president of Kisan Morcha of BJP, Punjab said, “We are actively visiting villages. There is no resistance from anyone anymore. We were always with them. Many new faces have joined the BJP, with many more likely to join in the coming days as well. Many Sikh faces will be seen in the party and already a number of them are part of our state committees. ”
Cheema on Monday himself visited villages in Faridkot and Bathinda.
Dr Subhash Sharma, general secretary of state BJP, added,”The BJP is a national party. We have always celebrated every festival right from gurpurab, to dussehra. It is a wrong narrative that we represent just a particular segment of people or urbanities. When we were in alliance with the SAD, we used to contest only on 23 seats which had more urban and Hindu voters. However, now we plan to contest from all the seats in Punjab as so many new faces have joined us. In the past 6 months, over 8,000 new members have joined us. Of these, more than 500 people have joined us after November 19 (the day PM Modi announced the repeal of the farm laws).”
Sources said that the BJP will most probably enter into an alliance with former CM Captain Amarinder Singh’s Lok Congress party and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s SAD Sanyukt.
“Our leaders have already held meetings in all 117 constituencies of Punjab. Now we are planning to start public outreach programs in the coming days. We had no major issues with farmers. The issue surrounding farm laws has been resolved,” Sharma said.
BJP leaders are also preparing a database of beneficiaries of people availaing benefit of schemes supported by the Centre. Around 14 lakh Punjab farmers are getting benefit of PM’s Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, while nearly 13 lakh women are getting benefit of Ujjwala Yojana.
“There is a crop insurance scheme as well for farmers, but the Punjab Government never implementedit. So we will guide farmers on its benefits and how they can avail the same and not worry about their crops in the future,” Cheema added.
Several BJP leaders have already hit the ground and starting reaching out to people in riral areas.
Subodh Verma, a BJP leader from Fazilka said,” I am interacting with people in the Balluana area and I am going to villages on a daily basis. ”
Likewise, Surjit Kumar Jayani, former Cabinet minister, is busy in Fazilka villages, with special focus on hamlets close to the Indo-Pak border. Jayani faced a pakka dharna outside his house in Katthera village of Fazilka for months. However, as of now, the dharna has been lifted.
“We are a national party that always works for the welfare of all sections of the society. Hence, if someone has built a narrative, we are here to reach out to people with warmth to explain to them our works done for them and also our concern about them,” added Subodh.
Meanwhile BJP has already prepared a separate content for reaching out to the SC community . However so far, no BJP leader has reached out to any farmer union leader or welcomed back any of the groups coming back from Delhi.
First outreach programme today
The Punjab unit of the BJP will organise its first public outreach program on Tuesday at Ludhiana’s Harsheela resort, in which the entire state party leadership will be present. “BJP workers from the ward level, and mandal level will be present in the meeting and there will be a gathering of over 10,000 workers. It will be our announcement to all of them to get ready for the polls next year,” said Ashwani Sharma, state president Punjab BJP.
“This will be the first consolidated BJP workers’ meeting. Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Dushyant Gautam will be attending this convention,” said Jeevan Gupta, state general secretary of BJP.
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