With agitating farmers taking to the streets in several parts of northern India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be stepping up its outreach drive across the country in the coming days to address their concerns and explain the farm laws, The Hindustan Times has reported.
To be sure, the BJP, which is the ruling party at the Centre, had earlier in September started a similar drive after Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the party cadre to spread awareness about the farm legislations.
The legislations, passed in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, had caused BJP's partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), to leave the alliance. SAD Member of Parliament and a Union Minister at Centre, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, had also resigned from her post in protest.
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Now, alleging that the Opposition is spreading misinformation regarding the farm laws, the BJP is looking to renew the outreach exercise.
"The prime minister had urged the BJP workers to reach out to the farmers on the ground and explain in simple language the importance and intricacies of reforms, which are aimed at empowering them. This exercise was carried out across the country," a BJP functionary told HT.
"In villages, chaupals were held, pamphlets were distributed and farmers were explained the benefits they stand to gain from the new law. However, given the Opposition’s attempt to mislead the farmers, this exercise will be renewed," the functionary added.
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According to the report, senior ministers have also been told to initiate dialogue with farmers' unions to call off the stir. The saffron party's prime contention, however, is that the Opposition--- particularly Congress--- has been creating misapprehension.
"The Opposition has been misleading the farmers. If the farmers were not convinced by the laws, then the party would not have won elections in Bihar, Gujarat and MP where farmers are in good numbers," Rajkumar Chahar, head of BJP's Kisan Morcha, said.
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Earlier in the day, agitating farmers at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border had pelted stones and broke barricades as they clashed with Delhi Police which used tear gas shells to disperse them.
Police now said farmers have been allowed to hold a peaceful protest at the Nirankari Ground in north Delhi.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.
They have been demanding that these new laws should be repealed.
The Centre has invited several Punjab farm bodies for another round of talks in Delhi on December 3.