Nadda asks Uttar Pradesh BJP MPs to counter Opposition criticism on farm laws
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda on Thursday tasked the second batch of party MPs from Uttar Pradesh (UP) with countering Opposition criticism against the new farm laws and to visit the rural parts of state with achievements of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath government in the state. The move comes in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, which are due early next year.
On Wednesday, Nadda and chief minister Yogi Adityanath had addressed the first batch of party MPs from UP at Delhi’s Constitution Club.
The party chief had then tasked MPs and the newly appointed Union ministers from the state with taking out Jan Ashirwad Yatras, possibly from August 16.
Emerging from the Thursday’s meeting, the newly appointed Union minister of state for housing and urban development Kaushal Kishore said BJP MPs would talk of the achievements of the Modi-Yogi governments and expose the “opposition canard” on issues, including farm laws. Kishore is the BJP MP from Mohanlalganj on the outskirts of Lucknow.
Asked about Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait’s statement that if the government did not budge on farm laws, farmers would converge on Lucknow, Kishore said, “This isn’t a statement by a farmer leader. It’s a statement by Rakesh Tikait who doesn’t represent all the farmers.”
All the new ministers, including Maharajganj MP Pankaj Choudhary, were tasked with taking out yatras.
“All of us would visit at least three to four Lok Sabha areas other than our own and talk about our government’s achievements,” said SP Baghel, the BJP MP from Agra who was made Union minister of state for law and justice earlier this month.
Earlier at the meeting, chief minister Yogi Adityanath also urged the party MPs to effectively counter the Opposition.
“Adityanathji spoke of how sugarcane dues of a record number of farmers have been paid over the last four-and-a-half years in UP and blamed the Opposition for misleading farmers on farm laws,” a party MP said after the meeting.
A BJP booklet ‘Iradey nek, kaam anek’ too was given to party MPs in which various initiatives of Modi-Yogi governments have been listed, party leaders said.
Cartoon posted by official Twitter handle of UP BJP unit generates heat
While the party MPs were being briefed by BJP top leadership in Delhi, a cartoon tweeted by the official twitter handle of UP unit of the BJP generated much heat with Opposition parties dubbing it a veiled threat to all opposition parties by the ruling party.
The cartoon on farmers’ protest showed a character named bahubali alerting another person carrying a mace on which kisan andolan (farmers’ agitation) is mentioned, advising caution while visiting Lucknow where chief minister Yogi Adityanath sits.
The BJP clarified that the cartoon wasn’t against farmers.
“Having run out of issues, the Opposition is now picking up non-issues. The cartoon has nothing to do with farmers and actually had the Opposition been in right frame, they would surely not have picked a cartoon to make a political issue,” said UP BJP’s social media coordinator Ankit Singh Chandel.
“There was nothing political about the cartoon but yes, if one wants to know the larger message, it is this: Our governments are pro-farmer and have repeatedly said they are willing to discuss any issue. But, at the same time, those who are trying to defame the farmers should remember that there is rule of law in UP,” Chandel added.
“This shows the BJP mindset. They are now even threatening farmers and all opposition,” said Samajwadi Party MLC Sunil Singh ‘Sajan’.
UP Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi targeted the BJP.
“BJP has lost the plot completely but the farmers who they are threatening now, would uproot them from power in 2022 UP polls.”
Aam Aadmi Party’s Vaibhav Maheshwari too was critical of the cartoon.