Updated: December 17, 2020 7:09:59 am
The government, which had initially dismissed the anti-CAA protests as orchestrated by its political opponents, was forced to counter it with its own public mobilisation.
With the farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi refusing to relent on their demand for repeal of three new farm laws, the ruling BJP has launched a fresh nationwide campaign to counter attempts by opposition parties to “misguide and mislead” the farmers.
The BJP’s national leadership has written to all state units, asking them to hold Kisan Sammelans, mass awareness and public outreach programmes to “sensitise” the farmers about the benefits of the farm laws against which farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting.
As part of the campaign, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday addressed a Kisan Sammelan in Haridwar, where he blamed the opposition Congress, Akali Dal, Left and Trinamool Congress, as well “urban Naxals” of misleading the farmers on the farm laws.
“Aaj tamam Pappu ho chahe Appu ho, sab ikathha ho gaye hain (Pappus and Appus have come together),” Rawat said in his address, adding that such people who staged protests at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh against the new citizenship law for months have come together again. “Urban Naxals who do not want peace and harmony in the country have gathered again.”
Rawat said the new farm laws provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce anywhere and these laws are in their interest.
In Surat, Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil said the state unit will launch similar campaign on Thursday. “The Congress and opposition are taking up the farmers’ issue to spread lawlessness and unrest in the country, which is unfortunate. The opposition has realised that there is nothing left on the ground for them, so they are misleading the farmers to take political advantage,” he told reporters. He will address five Kisan Sammelans on Thursday.
Among top leaders who will address similar meets are Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala.
The outreach campaign follows a letter from the BJP’s central leadership last week, which asked the state units to hold press conferences, video conferences, write articles in regional and vernacular newspapers and magazines, conduct extensive discussions and distribute leaflets to “sensitise” the farmers about the benefits of the farm bills. The letter sent by party general secretary Arun Singh, while praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his work towards the welfare of the farmers specifically said the MSP will continue. The government will “continue to purchase directly from farmers and will make every effort to help the farmers to ensure a better future for their coming generation,” it said.
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