BJP workers should reach out to farmers: Narendra Modi

The Prime Minister says there is a need to spread awareness on new farm bills, and wants party workers to convince farmers.


The Prime Minister has asked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers to start spreading out “reaching out to farmers” to “inform them in a very simplified language about the importance and intricacies of the new farm reforms”. This could be a cause of concern amongst the farming community, activists, and citizens who are supporting their demand to withdraw the newly passed agricultural laws, that they feel will harm their interest.

The PM’s words indicate that the farming community that works to feed the entire nation is not intelligent enough to understand what is “good for them” and needs those working for the Bharatiya Janata Party to explain it to them in a way they will understand. Since the PM has not identified or explained to the “BJP Karyakartas” what he means by this “simple language”, it also can be interpreted by the right wing supporters to mean that they must “convince” the farmers to agree to the law anyhow.

His remarks, in response to the all India agitation against the The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by the Parliament, in the most “undemocratic” manner, even as Opposition boycotted it, earlier this week during the Monsoon Session. These laws have unified the farmers, to protest and demand that they be withdrawn. These legislations passed through without discussion or debate in the Indian Parliament last Sunday made a mockery of parliamentary democracy too, and may see further political agitations as well.

The PM’s words have a lot of weight, and to his colleagues from the party, and the right-wing ideology, his speech at the celebrations to mark Deendayal Upadhyaya’s birth anniversary, while on the same day lakhs of farmers across the country demonstrated against the law, may have a massive impact too. The message can be read as: We will tell the farmer what is good for them, they do not seem to understand it now.

The PM addressed the BJP meeting, via video conference and among other things spoke about the new “reforms in the agriculture sector”. He lashed out at previous governments and said that “used to make a complicated web of promises and laws which farmers or labourers could never understand”. According to him, the BJP-led NDA govt “tried to change this situation” and has “in the last few years, the NDA government made full efforts to connect farmers with banks. Over Rs 1 lakh crores transferred to over 10 crore farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Our effort was to provide KISAN credit cards to more & more farmers so they can avail loans easily.”

As he is aware that the new laws are seen as harmful by the farming community, and seen as favouring large corporates and not real farmers, he rigidly insisted that the BJP “karyakartas”, now “need to spread awareness on new farm bills,” alleging that the Opposition is “using farmers for their benefit”, by supporting the farmers in their struggle for financial security and their hope to have the new law revoked.




Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke about the labour bills at the event, and defended them saying they were “labour reforms” that will “transform the lives of our labour force”. “So far, only 30 percent of the workers had the coverage of minimum wage guarantee. Now, it will expand to all workers in the unorganised sector,” he said.

It is election season and the PM also reminded his party workers about “the party’s mantra”, saying “if we see the party’s Sankalp Patra, we can see that how so many of the works are being done at fast pace – be it Har Ghar Jal or internet connectivity in villages. Be it revocation of article 370 or settling the Ram Mandir issue in Ayodhya.”

However, for lakhs of Indian farmers who took to the streets, sat under the scorching sun, put their bodies on railway tracks on Friday, to demand what fair price for the crop they grow, rights over the land they till; the government needs to talk to them directly. Most of the regular BJP workers, and Sangh Parivar ‘volunteers’ are not the representatives of an elected government. After all there exists the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. As a part of the Government of India, this ministry is mandated to formulate and administer all rules and regulations and laws related to the agriculture sector. It is headed by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, details of those who run the ministry can be found here, perhaps the many farmers of India want to hear from them instead of BJP workers.



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