As protesting farmers mount pressure on the government to scrap a set of contentious farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually address farmers across states on Friday and released the next batch of financial aid Rs 18,000 crore from the PM-Kisan scheme. The PM’s session with farmers is a part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s nationwide outreach to the farmers on December 25, the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Today (Friday) is significant for the nation’s Annadatas. Will get the opportunity to release the next installment of PM-Kisan for more than 9 crores farmer families through video conferencing at 12 pm. Will also communicate with farmers of many states on this occasion,” the PM tweeted on Thursday.
The Center is also expected to give Rs 18,000 crore to 90 million farmers under the PM-Kisan scheme, an activity of the Narendra Modi government to expand pay backing of Rs 6,000 every year to small and marginal farmers in three equal installments= of Rs 2,000 every four months.
In a letter to BJP functionaries the nation over, a copy of which was accessed by HT, party general secretary Arun Singh listed a series of steps, including installation of large TV screens at the venues of farmers’ gatherings, so that the prime minister’s speech gets a wide viewership.
Singh told reporters on Thursday that the party has made game agreements for farmers’ support on December 25 in more than 19,000 venues the nation over, and the party’s members will also be present.
While one crore farmers will directly participate, more than five crore of them will hear PM Modi’s speech , he added.
At the block level event, the party is planning to explain to farmers how the hostile three new laws, pointed toward opening up exchange agribusiness, are to their greatest advantage.
Party functionaries have been asked to detail measures put in place by the Centre to benefit farmers such as increases in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers’ produce, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana that insures their yields and the introduction of neem-coated ure to boost wheat and paddy production. Singh urged BJP workers to gather outside Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), or government controlled mandis, and offices of cooperative organisations for farmers’ events, which would also be attended by the party’s elected representatives.
The new outreach to farmers will coincide with the completion of the first month of a sit-in protest by farmers who have massed at Delhi’s borders to demand a repeal of the three laws that they say will hurt their livelihoods.