JP Nadda to launch campaign to woo farmers during West Bengal visit on 9 January

Kolkata: Almost a month after his convoy came under attack, BJP national president JP Nadda will be visiting West Bengal's Purba Bardhaman district on Saturday to launch the party's new campaign aimed at wooing farmers, amid the ongoing protest over the contentious agriculture laws.

The top BJP leader, during his daylong visit, would also hold a rally at Katwa and a roadshow at Bardhaman town, which would be followed by a press conference, sources in the saffron camp said.

Nadda, in a bid to blunt opposition camp's "anti- farmer" allegations against the BJP-led central government, will float 'Ek Muthi Chawal' (a fistful of rice), a project under which he would collect rice from farmers' homes and brief them about the benefits of the new legislations.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at Delhi borders for over a month against the three laws. They have stayed put despite heavy rains and waterlogging at protest sites over the last couple of days, besides severe cold weather conditions prevailing in and around the national capital.

"After our party president launches the campaign, our cadres will fan out to 48,000 villages of the state, where they will be visiting households of farmers to collect rice and brief them about the new farm laws. Nadda ji will address rallies, have lunch at a farmer's residence and hold a gram sabha meeting, during his visit," party sources said.

There are 71.23 lakh farmers' families in West Bengal, 96 percent of them small and marginal.

According to state BJP, Nadda's visit assumes immense significance as this will be his first visit to the state after the attack on his convoy during his journey to Diamond Harbour from the city on 10 December.

The Home Ministry had subsequently summoned three IPS officers to serve in central deputation, following the alleged security lapses which led to the attack on Nadda, kicking off a Centre-State war and leaving CM Mamata Banerjee fuming.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh had said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda would visit the state every month until the end of assembly elections.

Both Nadda and Shah were on a two-day visit to the state on separate occasions in December.

Election to the 294-member Bengal Assembly is due in April-May.



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