The Karnataka BJP, ahead of the Assembly polls, would organise a statewide campaign from March 21 in support of farmers’ cause and pledging justice for them if the party comes to power in the state. During the ‘Mushti Dhanya Sangraha Abhiyana’, a door-to-door campaign, party workers will collect a handful of grains from farmers, while assuring them of policy decisions that will ensure their welfare, in return. “In all villages our workers will go door-to-door and collect a handful of grains, maybe rice, maize or ragi,” Union minister and BJP in-charge of Karnataka Prakash Javadekar told reporters here. “In return, we will give a letter to farmers by B S Yeddyurappa (BJP state president) asking them not to commit suicide and assuring them that once the the BJP government comes to power, we will ensure that no farmer dies in the state”, he said.
Pointing out that more than 3,500 farmers have committed suicide during the present Congress government in Karnataka, he said, “We will promise to ensure complete justice to farmers”. “During the conclusion of the campaign… April 8, 9, or 10, depending on convenience, in each Assembly constituency there would be ‘samohik bojan’ (mass meal) with farmers and non-farmers where a pledge will be taken to create an administration and take policy decisions to ensure welfare and interest of farmers,” he said. The grains collected from farmers would used during the ‘samohik bojan’. ‘Mushti Dhanya Sangraha Abhina’ was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Davangere last month.
BJP has already mobilised 6,000 ‘Mushti Dhanya Abhina’ in-charges for the purpose. Assembly elections in Karnataka is likely to be held in April/May. Accusing the Congress of being “completely anti- farmer”, Javadekar said they have ruined farmers by following a “deliberate” policy of not paying remunerative prices for their produce. “Undeclared policy of Congress has always remained not to give farmer his due… Farmers at local and national level have been harassed by the Congress,” he said. On the demand by farmers in Karnataka for waiving off their loan taken from nationalised banks, Javadekar said the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra governments have paid on behalf of farmers, while the Karnataka government had failed to do so. Asked whether BJP would waive farmers’ loans once it comes to power in Karnataka, he said “our manifesto will tell…”