When thousands of farmers from across the country sat on dharna in the outskirts of Delhi for the 45th day on Saturday the Bharatiya Janata Party chief J P Nadda launched a fortnight long campaign to reach out to the farmers of West Bengal.
Nadda kicked off his campaign to collect a handful of rice from all the farmers of the state from East Bardhaman district, considered as the rice bowl of the state. The rice collected from the donation would be used for the community kitchens. The party would reach all the 74 lakh farmers of poll-bound Bengal till Jan 24. Later Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to pay a visit to the state—third in three months.
Speaking on the occasion Nadda said that the three farm laws enacted in September last were in the interest of farmers and would not be repealed. The BJP president on Saturday claimed that the Narendra Modi government had implemented the Swaminathan Commission report. He accused the Mamata Banerjee government of the state for not implementing the centrally sponsored scheme for the betterment of farmers, Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi. As per this scheme launched on the eve of last Lok Sabha election each farmer gets annually Rs 6,000 in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
Now the Mamata government had implemented this scheme, though earlier it used to argue that the state government is already running one such scheme.
It needs to be mentioned that chief minister Mamata Banerjee is going to hold a rally in Nandigram on Jan 17 and in Purulia a day later. On Jan 8 the BJP too had organized a big public meeting in Nandigram.
Independent political observers are of the view that the BJP has launched this farmers’ outreach campaign as it started fearing that the farmers’ movement in Delhi would seriously erode their support base in poll-bound West Bengal. So, it is an exercise to keep the flock together.
Only recently some farmers unions’ leaders had vowed that they would campaign in Bengal to ensure the defeat of the BJP in the Assembly election.