PRIME Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Pandharkawa in Yavatmal district on February 16 to address a congregation of women from self-help groups (SHGs). This was informed by Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir at a press conference in Yavatmal recently.
This is the second visit of the PM to Yavatmal and, incidentally, right ahead of the upcoming general elections. He had visited Dabhadi village in the district in March 2014 for a ‘Chai pe charcha’ programme during which he had interacted with farmers and had assured that his government will provide production cost nearly 50 per cent above their produce implementing a suggestion by the Swaminathan Commission.
Ahir said, “Yavatmal has a good concentration of women SHGs and the PM would address a gathering of three lakh members of these groups. He is expected to announce welfare measures for women SHGs on the occasion.” He also said that BJP would return to power after the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, Congress decided to protest against PM’s visit to the district. Addressing mediapersons, former state Social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe said, “Modi had made promises to farmers like doubling their income and price to meet their produce as per Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations. But, he has not fulfilled any of them, leaving the farmers in the lurch. Hence, we have decided to organise a massive protest against him. We will show him placards with Modi no-entry slogans written on them.”
Moghe and other Congressmen had organised protests against the PM earlier by organizing a Pandharkawda to Dabhadi padyatra and a rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Chairman of state government task force Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swawlamban Mission Kishor Tiwari, meanwhile, announced that he would take widows of farmers of those who have committed suicide to the PM’s rally to press the demand for pension for them. “I would also demand that Yavatmal be declared a dry district,” he said.
Tiwari had caused a flutter last month by saying that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari be made Prime Ministerial candidate for the post-2019 BJP government at the Centre.