BJP launches ‘Shivar Samvad’, to counter Sangharsh Yatra, will visit 43K villages in Maharashtra | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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BJP launches ‘Shivar Samvad’, to counter Sangharsh Yatra, will visit 43K villages in Maharashtra

Mumbai city news: Devendra Fadnavis visited Halgara in Latur and volunteered alongside the farmers

mumbai Updated: May 26, 2017 00:58 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
CM Devendra Fadnavis offers sharamdan at Halgara village in Latur on Thursday.
CM Devendra Fadnavis offers sharamdan at Halgara village in Latur on Thursday.(HT)

To counter the Opposition and ally Shiv Sena’s attacks on the agrarian crisis, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started its ‘Shivar Samvad’ (dialogue with farmers) initiative on Thursday.

The four-day programme to reach out to farmers will see around 4,000 BJP leaders and public representatives, including chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, visit 43,000 villages in Maharashtra. At every village, leaders will hold small public meetings to discuss policies rolled out by the Centre and the state to alleviate the farm crisis.

The campaign is BJP’s answer to the Opposition’s Sangharsh Yatra, a state-wide campaign demanding a farm loan waiver from the Fadnavis government. The Shiv Sena recently joined the bandwagon by launching its Shiv Sampark Abhiyan to reach out to farmers and the more belligerent Mee Karjamukt Honar (I will be loan-free) campaign to push its ally-turned-rival on the backfoot.

On Thursday, the plan was to visit nearly 5,400 villages. Fadnavis made a start with villages in Nilanga taluka in Latur district of Marathwada, while state party president Raosaheb Danve began the campaign from the tribal-dominated Nandurbar district in north Maharashtra.

“Besides highlighting our efforts, we will also compare our policies in the past three years with the Congress-NCP’s 15-year rule. The idea is to sit with farmers and reach out to the last mile,’’ said state labour minister Sambhaji Nilangekar Patil, one of the young party leaders who along with another BJP MLA Sanjay Kute is credited with the idea of the campaign.

“All our ministers and legislators are in the field today connecting with farmers in small gatherings. The nature of this massive communication campaign is not political. It is more of an informal gathering. The Opposition is trying to create an atmosphere that rural areas are disconnected from the BJP but that’s patently false,’’ said party spokesperson Keshav Upadhyay.

Fadnavis, who visited Halgara village in Nilanga taluka in Latur on Thursday as a part of the campaign, offered ‘shramadan’ (gift of labour) with the farmers here.

“For the last 50 days, villagers here have successfully been working for water conservation through shramadan. I contributed too. It’s inspiring how Halgara has become tanker free,’’ he said, referring to water crisis in parts of Maharashtra, including Marathwada, where the government deployed tankers.

Fadnavis also addressed villagers and then left for Mumbai when his helicopter met with an accident.

Amit Shah likely to review BJP’s preparedness for polls

BJP president Amit Shah is expected to visit Maharashtra post June 15 for three days

He will review party’s preparedness for the 2019 Assembly polls

The party president will hold separate meetings with ministers, legislators, party functionaries and even meet some booth level workers

His proposed visit comes in the backdrop of ongoing speculation over early polls in the state

The BJP has started preparing for the polls as its ally Shiv Sena has been targeting it consistently

A season for rural outreach:

The BJP’s campaign, Shivar Samvad, to address farmers’ grievances will be held from May 25 to May 28

4,000 party leaders, including chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, and functionaries will hold meetings in villages across the state

The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) along with smaller political parties have been demanding a farm loan waiver under a campaign, Sangharsh Yatra, since March

The fourth phase of the Sangarsh rally concluded recently

The Shiv Sena launched ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’ campaign earlier this month to help farmers get credit and better prices for their produce

Sena legislators and ministers will reach out to farmers

The party has also launched the agitation Mee Karjamukta honar (I will become loan-free) which will see its leaders and workers campaign in rural areas.