To shed the "anti-farmer" and "pro-industrialist" image of the central government, the ruling BJP has decided to reach out to farmers through four rallies to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The "Kisan Maha sammelan" rallies -- in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh -- will be held before the presentation of the General Budget in the upcoming session of parliament. "'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana' (Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme) is going to prove a milestone for the farmers of the country. So, it needs to be popularised among the farmers," BJP general secretary Arun Singh told media. "In an effort to popularise this ambitious scheme, the prime minister will interact with the farmers of the country through his rallies," he added.
Modi's first rally will be held in Sehore (Madhya Pradesh) on February 18 and second in Bargarh (Odisha) on February 21. These rallies will be followed by two rallies in Karnataka on February 27 and in Uttar Pradesh on February 28. Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme, approved by the union cabinet recently, gives insurance cover against crop loss due to natural calamities and has lower premium rates.
Singh also said such rallies will be organised in all states thereafter. "Before each rally, the party will organise 100 'Chaupal Pe Charcha', a programme in tune with 'Chai Pe Charcha', which the BJP had organised during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls campaign in each district of the state," he said. "BJP leaders and workers will interact with the farmers during the discussion and will inform them about the crop insurance scheme and other schemes related to farmers launched by the government," he added.