Authorities closed down many schools across Madhya Pradesh on Thursday to procure thousands of buses to ferry around 500,000 farmers for a massive rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sehore district.
CBSE schools such as Holy Family and St Joseph’s Convent Idgah Hills, besides Bal Bhawan in Bhopal shut down and postponed their internal examinations. Others such as Carmel Convent BHEL made alternative transportation arrangements for their students.
HT found farmers travelling to the venue in Sherpur packed in buses, tractors, mini-buses, school and college buses, besides cars, jeeps and two-wheelers, shouting “Sherpur mein sher aa raha hai” (the Lion is coming to Sherpur).
Modi is expected to announce a new crop insurance scheme, a boon for several farmers in the region whose crops have either failed or been damaged by unseasonal rain.
“I have eight bigha land and my crop has failed. I don’t know what to do now. I have come here to get compensation for my loss. I am expecting to get a cheque”, said 60-year-old Mangilal, a farmer from Rajgarh .
Besides launching a crop insurance scheme, Modi will also award chief minister and his team for taking dedicated farm initiatives.
The convention will be the first in a series to be held across the country to apprise the farming community of the PM’s idea of comprehensive growth and how farmers form a wheel of his mission wagon, a BJP leader said.
The PM will fly from Bhopal to Sehore by helicopter this afternoon. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will also be present.
During the convention Prime Minister will present a trophy of Krishi Karman Award 2013-14 to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, farmers welfare and agriculture development minister Gaurishankar Bisen and chief secretary Anthony de Sa. Prime Minister will be conferred Kisan Mitra and Kisan Hiteshi Samman on behalf of MP government for his ‘historic decisions in the interest of farmers’.
Over 3000 security personnel are taking care of the security arrangements, including 1500 at the venue of the convention. Over 600 cops are managing the parking outside the venue. Hundreds of traffic cops are looking after the traffic arrangements along the routes through which farmers are reaching the venue.