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Rajnath to woo Vidarbha farmers with 'kisan yatra'
January 05, 2008 17:48 IST
Seeking to make greater inroads into the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party is taking up the issue of farmer suicides in a big way, with party chief Rajnath Singh going on a kisan yatra there in January.
The two-day yatra beginning January 10, will kick off from Sevegram in Vardha district and will criss-cross Amravati, Akola, Washim and Yavatmal districts, which has been generally known to be a Congress stronghold. The yatra will conclude in Yavatmal, where Singh will address a rally.
"Despite the package announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], suicides are continuing in the region. This shows that the United Progressive Alliance government's policy for farmers has failed," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
Besides Javadekar, the entire state leadership of the BJP, including senior leader Gopinath Munde, state unit chief Nitin Gadkari, Leaders of the Opposition in both Houses, Pandurang Phundkar and Eknath Khadse, will accompany Singh.
In a bid to identify itself with the farmers, the party is also planning to distribute Rs 15,000 each to around 500 families where the bread-winner had committed suicide in the last couple of years.
"The prime minister's package has failed and suicides are continuing. There is no new initiative from the Centre or the state government to mitigate the problems faced by farmers. We will highlight this aspect during the yatra," Javadekar said.
"The Congress-ruled state government is incapable of handling the situation," he added.
Singh had earlier taken out a similar yatra in farmer suicide-hit agricultural belt of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, demanding increase in the minimum support price for paddy and measures to address the concerns of peasants.