Uttarakhand BJP to woo farmers, youth with eye on Lok Sabha elections

Updated on Jan 23, 2019 04:06 PM IST

As part of its pre-poll campaign Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morch (BJYM) national president Poonam Mahajan would address a meeting of BJYM office bearers on January 29 at Parade Ground in Dehradun.

During the campaign, farmers will be informed about a centrally-funded scheme under which organic farming will be promoted among Uttarakhand’’s marginal hill farmers, says a minister.(HT File)
During the campaign, farmers will be informed about a centrally-funded scheme under which organic farming will be promoted among Uttarakhand’’s marginal hill farmers, says a minister.(HT File)
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By

The BJP’s Uttarakhand unit is set to launch a pre-election campaign soon, through which it will publicise all the centrally funded schemes meant for youth and farmers to woo its two “key constituencies” ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“Our party is set to launch a state-wide pre-poll campaign, through which we will publicise among youth and farmers all the centrally and state funded schemes meant for them ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,” said prominent BJP leader and higher education, cooperatives and dairy development minister Dhan Singh Rawat.

“Both sets are our key constituencies and will be the focus of our soon-to-start state-wide election campaign.”

As part of its pre-poll campaign Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morch (BJYM) national president Poonam Mahajan would address a meeting of BJYM office bearers on January 29 at Parade Ground in Dehradun.

“All the state, district and mandal level office bearers of our party’s youth wing will attend the meeting,” Rawat said. “The meeting is being held to chalk out a comprehensive campaign strategy under which BJYM workers would publicise all the centrally and state funded schemes meant for the youth,” he added.

As part of the strategy, BJYM workers would interact with youths who constitute 50% of voters in the state, Rawat said adding the activity would be carried out in all rural areas near polling booths under the BJP’s ‘One Booth, 20 Youth’ programme.

The strategy forms a part of the BJP’s plan to celebrate 2019 as ‘Rojgar Varsh’ or the year of employment, which it has dedicated to the youth.

Elaborating on the strategy, the minister said that as part of the move BJYM workers would publicise the steps initiated by BJP governments both at the Centre and in the state to generate employment as well as self-employment.

Giving an example, he said the government recently filled the posts of 877 assistant professors in state run degree and postgraduate colleges.

“Similarly, all students enrolled in state run colleges affiliated to regional universities would be provided free-of-cost health insurance cover,” he said.

The process of advertising the posts lying vacant in all government departments “has begun so that the recruitment process starts” at the earliest.

“The step aims to provide jobs to as many youths as possible,” Rawat said. “Similarly, orders have been issued to enforce 10% quota in government jobs for the economically backward candidates belonging to the upper castes.”

Rawat admitted that the BJP’s campaign strategy had its focus on youths because they voted for the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls almost everywhere in the country including Uttarakhand.

BJP state general secretary Naresh Bansal said BJYMS workers would also publisie among the people various self-employment oriented schemes like Mudra Banking, Start-Up India and Make-in-India etc meant for the youth.

As part of the campaign strategy, party workers would also organise ‘Chaupals’ or village level meetings with farmers across the state.

During such interactions with farmers our workers would brief the farmers about various steps initiated by the Centre to augment their income.

“For instance, they would be told about the schemes such as the one under which the maximum support price to be paid to farmers for their crops would be one-and-a-half times more than the costs they bear,” he said.

Besides, the chief minister recently announced a scheme under which farmers would be provided loans for all farming related activities including sowing of crops, at zero interest rates. “Incidentally, we are the first state in the country to introduce such a pro-farmer scheme,” Rawat claimed.

During the pre-election campaign farmers would also be informed about a centrally funded scheme under which organic farming would be promoted among the marginal hill farmers in the state.

“Our party workers will also publicise a scheme sunder which the Centre recently released 700 crore to give a boost to the horticulture sector in the mountain state,” said the minister.

The Opposition, however, dubbed the BJP’s claims as hollow. “All the promises they (BJP) made to farmers and youths ahead of the last (2014) Lok sabha elections turned out to be hollow,” said Mathura Dutt Joshi, the chief spokesperson of the Congress’ state unit.

He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failing to fulfil his poll promise that 2 crore youths would be provided jobs.

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