Modi to connect with rural masses from UP’s biggest grain market

The Bharatiya Janata Party is gearing up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s July 21 rally in Shahjahanpur, a part of Terai belt and the state’s biggest grain market, from where the party looks forward to connect with the rural Uttar Pradesh.

lucknow Updated: Jul 19, 2018 13:49 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Narendra Modi,BJP,Chief minister Yogi Adityanath
July 21st rally will be Modi’s third rally in Shahjahanpur.(PTI)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s July 21 rally in Shahjahanpur, a part of Terai belt and the state’s biggest grain market, from where the party looks forward to connect with the rural Uttar Pradesh.

This will be Modi’s third rally in Shahjahanpur. Earlier, he has addressed a public meeting in Shahjahanpur as Gujarat chief minister in 2009 and then as the BJP’s PM face in 2014.

Officially, the party is claiming that 10 lakh people will attend the rally but even 25 per cent of the projected turnout would make it one of the biggest rallies in the region, a party leader said.

From booth level cadres to lawmakers, everyone has been assigned the task of bringing people to the rally venue.

A party leader has been asked to coordinate with lawmakers in getting the crowd which would be a mix of farmers, beneficiaries of various government schemes, cadre and local influential people.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath and UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey visited Shahjahanpur on Tuesday to review the preparations for the rally. They held meetings with district magistrates of Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Farrukhabad, Pilibhit, Badaun, Rampur and Bareilly from where people are expected to attend the rally.

The plan, a party leader said, was to get beneficiaries of farm loan waiver, Ujjawala free LPG scheme and PM’s housing scheme to attend the rally. “When they go back they would naturally spread Modiji’s message with more zeal,” he said.

In June, the PM had interacted with a Sikh farmer from the district, Rajvinder Singh, through video conferencing. The farmer had shared with the PM his experiences of using drip irrigation in farming and how it helped him.

Timed around Modi’s Shahjahanpur visit, the BJP has also got its party’s farmers’ wing (kisan morcha) to hold farmer welfare meetings across the state.

Through these meetings, the BJP plans to make the rural masses aware of Modi government’s decision to hike minimum support price (MSP) of various crops planted in the current kharif season.

“The hike in MSP of various crops announced by PM Modi has been historic as it is for the first time since Independence that such massive hike has been done,” chief minister Yogi Adityanath said, adding farmers from various districts would attend the PM’s rally.

UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey said: “The hike in MSP of 14 kharif crops is indeed historic and will ensure direct benefit to farmers.”

According to political analysts, the PM is likely to continue to target the SP, BSP and Congress.

Former union minister and Congress leader Jitin Prasada, who hails from the region, dismissed Modi’s rally and said he was playing politics over development.

“Nothing has been done except ‘jumlebaazi’ (lip service),” Prasada said.

Hitting back at Prasada, BJP leader Chandramohan said, “Despite being rejected across the country, the Congress leaders still have the cheek to talk back. They are nervous over the success of Modi and Yogi and hence stooping low.”

Shahjahanpur, a reserved seat, is currently represented in Lok Sabha by Krishna Raj, a Pasi, who is a union minister of state. Raj is considered close to former UP CM and present Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh.

BJP heavyweight Suresh Khanna, who is state’s urban development minister, is a seven-term lawmaker from Shahjahanpur (city) and is burning midnight oil to showcase his clout as a mass leader from the region.

“This is clearly BJP’s high point but Khanna had been winning even when the chips were down. He is staying here to supervise arrangements himself. The PM will get a grand welcome here,” a BJP leader said.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 13:49 IST