BJP leaders of Bengal and four other states have congregated at a private resort in Lataguri, which is in the fringes of Gorumara National Park and around 25 kilometres from here, on Wednesday to join in a two-day workshop that has been organised by Kisan Morcha, the farmer’s front of the saffron party.
The workshop, party insiders said, has been planned to coach leaders and workers as to how they should reach out to the farmers in Bengal and in some of the neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“A number of states, including Bengal, are non-cooperating with the Centre. As a result, the farmers could not get benefits of different central schemes. At the workshop, we will elaborate on our policy for the farmers and the schemes which are available for them. Around 300 delegates from these states have joined the workshop. They in turn, will teach other party colleagues in their respective states,” said Shambhu Kumar, the national general secretary of BJP Kisan Morcha.
Sources in the state BJP said in Bengal, the panchayat elections are ahead and the party intends to draw support from the farmers who constitute at least 60 per cent of the rural population. Around 72 lakh families living in rural areas of the state are associated with farming.
Among them, around 96 per cent are small and marginal farmers.“It is evident that to secure seats in the upcoming rural polls, it is necessary that we have the support of farmers. We want to reach out to every farmer’s household and apprise them about the series of benefits provided by the Centre to them,” said a senior party functionary. Those attending the workshop will spread out in the districts. There, they will sit with the district leadership of the Kisan Morcha and will draw up a plan in consultation with state and district party leaders as to how they should launch the campaign among farmers. Sukanta Majumdar, the state BJP president who joined the workshop, also admitted the importance of farmers in the rural polls.
“Farmers form the basic economic foundation in any rural area. Their role in the panchayat elections is very important. A number of important issues pertaining to the farmers will be discussed at the workshop,” he said.