Apart from a village-to-village campaign, the BJP appears to be heavily banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma to convince people that the three new laws are to farmers’ benefit.
“I’m a farmer. When I speak to other farmers, they agree that the PM is with them and he’ll never do anything detrimental to their interests,” said Rajkumar Chahar, national president of BJP Kisan Morcha (farmer cell).
He also added that Morcha workers at block level are reaching out to farmers to tell them that the new laws do not intend to remove maximum support price (MSP) or grab their land; rather once implemented, these will help increase their income.
“Chaupal (village-level meetings) are being held by Kisan Morcha members on ground, at block level,” said Chahar, who is also Lok Sabha member from Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh.
Before the chaupal, they worship the plough, bullocks, tractors, and then address meetings explaining the Centre’s stand and also read out or distribute copies of the bills if needed.
However, the stress seems to be on Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the farmers’ cause.
“Prime Minister mentioned it during his address at Kutch and again in Varanasi. He has clarified our stand in direct deliberation with farmers on the virtual platform,” said Chahar.
Speaking at the inauguration of mega energy projects last month in Kutch, Gujarat, Modi targeted opposition parties claiming they are misleading the farmers while they were in favour of the reforms when their party was in power.
On his visit to Varanasi in November, the PM spoke on farm laws and hit out at dynastic politics.
On the occasion of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary, Modi addressed farmers when he released the year’s last tranche of PM-KISAN, the direct income-transfer scheme.
“Fasal bima (crop insurance), kisan credit card, Kisan Samman Nidhi have all been done for the benefit of farmers. With Samman Nidhi, the PM has ensured that an income support of Rs 6,000 be provided to small and marginal farmer families every year,” added Chahar.
On the Opposition’s allegation that the government was biding for time for the protestors to tire and disperse, the BJP leader dismissed it as part of Opposition propaganda to misinform farmers.
Some reports claimed that the government is ready to wait till the agitation wears out or a judicial outcome is pronounced. The Chief Justice of India has posted all petitions concerning the farmers’ issue for Monday (January 11), but said that it could be adjourned if the Attorney General found it necessary for the sake of the ongoing talks.
“Truth will triumph; it may take some time. Once implemented, the benefits will be there to see in a couple of years,” he claimed.
These words of comfort are being carried to rural India by members of the BJP farmer cell. But in the end, once again the party is looking up at the Prime Minister to resolve the issue in their favour.
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