Ranchi: Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari will reach the state tomorrow to address farmers directly on the benefits of land acquisition ordinance, as a part of the BJP's nationwide campaign to counter the Opposition's "propaganda" against it.
During his daylong stay, Gadkari will seek to strike a chord with the poor while explaining them the benefits of the much-talked-about ordinance that the Narendra Modi government is pushing desperately to boost infrastructure and pave way for India's economic revival.
State BJP spokesperson Pradeep Sinha said the Union minister, who will touch down at Birsa Munda Airport around 11am, would address farmers at the forest department's auditorium in Doranda around 4pm. The farmers have been invited mostly from Ranchi, Khunti, Lohardaga and Gumla districts,
Gadkari will focus on the land bill's supposed benefits in terms of irrigation, power, roads and rural infrastructure to win farmers over.
Gadkari is also expected to hold a separate meeting with party MLAs, MPs and office-bearers in the evening to give them tips on how to counter the Opposition's sustained campaign projecting the ordinance as "pro-corporate" and "anti-farmer". Gadkari will return to Delhi by a late evening flight.
"Gadkari's visit is a part of the party's national programme. He will interact with farmers and party workers to inform them about salient features of the ordinance, which will serve long-term interests of the poor. The Opposition has been circulating misinformation. The BJP has decided to allay fears and confusions," state BJP president Ravindra Rai told The Telegraph.
The ordinance, which the NDA government could not convert into a legislation in Rajya Sabha due to stiff opposition, was re-promulgated on April 3, a day before it was to lapse.
The fresh ordinance has incorporated nine amendments that were part of the bill passed in Lok Sabha last month, replacing the old one that was promulgated in December last year. The BJP is now in no mood to repeat the entire process again.
In its three-day national executive meeting that concluded in Bangalore yesterday, the party not only released a booklet - Information to Counter Disinformation - but also made the ordinance a key part of its political resolution.
Targeting the Opposition's propaganda, state BJP chief Rai accused the Congress of fooling farmers for the last 60 years.
"Now, when the Narendra Modi government is working for weaker sections, the Congress has become furious," Rai argued.
The Opposition, on the other hand, has been cautioning the poor against the controversial ordinance, claiming it will severely affect tribal states like Jharkhand, already reeling under poverty, mass displacements and Left-wing extremism.
The Congress, JMM and JVM have been largely able to convince people that the ordinance will end traditional " Manki-Munda" system of tribal society and undermine the importance of gram sabhas and panchayats.
But, Rai argued the people of Jharkhand had been suffering for decades due to faulty land acquisition. "The central government's scheme for rural roads has suffered in Jharkhand because of land acquisition. It will soon end. Farmers will get handsome price for their land and new roads will connect villages with cities. You have to pay a small price for a big gain," he said.