Senior state BJP leaders will fan out across Gujarat to hold kisan sammelans to “create awareness” on the agriculture reforms for three days beginning Thursday, said party’s state unit president C R Patil, who will address one of the meetings scheduled for Thursday in Bardoli in Surat. In all 10 meetings have been planned of which five are on Thursday, four on Friday and one on Saturday.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in favour of the farmers and he is ready to do anything for their better future. The three farm laws passed in the Parliament under his leadership are for the benefit of farmers. The opposition parties are trying to mislead the farmers by portraying him as ‘anti-farmer’,” Patil said Wednesday.
He also targeted the Congress and said the opposition was taking up the farmers’ issue “to spread lawlessness and unrest in the country”.
“The Opposition has realised that there is nothing left on the ground for them, so they are misleading the farmers to take political advantage in the elections,” Patil added.
The state BJP chief said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will address one meeting on Friday covering the districts of Navsari, Valsad, Dang, and another on Saturday covering Anand, Vadodara, Chhotaudepur and Kheda, while Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel will cover Dahod, Panchmahal and Mahisagar districts. Patil’s Bardoli meeting will cover the five districts of Surat, Narmada, Bharuch, and Tapi.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala will address a meeting covering Rajkot, Surendranagar, Morbi, Devbhumi Dwarka, and Jamnagar on Thursday. He will also address another meeting on Friday covering Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Aravalli, Sabarkantha, and Mehsana.
Party vice-president Gordhan Zadafia and its state general secretary K C Patel, will cover the districts of north Gujarat, while the rest of the Saurashtra region has been divided between state Agriculture Minister R C Faldu and former state BJP president Jitu Vaghani. State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama will cover Kutch.
The decision to organise these meetings was taken at a two-day ‘Chintan Baithak’ (brainstorming session) of the BJP held last weekend.
“In the ongoing farmers’ protest, posters like ‘support Khalistan movement, abrogation of section 370 in Jammu and Kashmir’, were seen which clearly shows, that anti-national, leftists are misdirecting the farmers. With open hearts, the Central government is carrying out talks with farmers leaders, while some of the anti-farmers elements are attempting to make this meeting unsuccessful,” Patil said.
In a BJP-ruled state like Gujarat, he added, the farmers had “personally experienced the benefits of the notable works done in the agriculture sector by the then chief minister Narendra Modi”. He added that under Rupani, the state government had brought the Mukhya Mantri Kisan Sahay Yojna to compensate the farmers for crop failure due to unseasonal or heavy rainfall.Meanwhile, Congress MLA Harshad Ribadiya and the party’s state farmer cell convenor Pal Ambaliya have reached the Delhi border to support the ongoing protests. The two leaders are leading separate groups of farmers from Gujarat at the protest sites.
Ribadiya, a Congress MLA from Visavadar in Junagadh district and a national coordinator of All India Kisan Congress (AIKC), is camping with five farmers at Tikri border since Saturday. While Ambalia, the convenor of the Gujarat unit of AIKC, has reached the Delhi-Rajasthan border on Monday with a group of around 300 farmers.
“Our effort is to persuade a maximum number of farmers to come to Delhi and join the protests,” Ribadiya said.
The party, Ambaliya said, plans to mobilise farmers from each taluka of Gujarat. “Today, the third group of 80 farmers reached the Delhi-Rajasthan border. Our plan is to mobilise at least 10 farmers from each taluka of Gujarat and persuade around 10,000 farmers from the state to join the protests against the three anti-farmer laws,” he said.