PM Modi to Kick Off Punjab Campaign with Major Rallies

Modi in a Punjab Rally
Preeti Bali / 6:40 am / May 23, 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch his Punjab campaign with a significant rally in Patiala, followed by two more rallies in Jalandhar and Gurdaspur on Friday. These events will take place under stringent security measures to prevent a repeat of the 2022 incident when the PM’s convoy was obstructed near Ferozepur.

BJP candidates in Punjab have encountered protests from farmer unions, but the party’s state in-charge and former Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani, asserted to News18 that these protests are politically motivated and will subside after the elections. “Punjab’s farmers are well-informed and supportive of us. The ongoing protests are a democratic right but are minor and politically driven. Farmers in Punjab have benefited from the Centre’s policies, with increased incomes and assured crop procurement at MSP. These protests will persist only until the elections,” Rupani stated.

The PM is scheduled to arrive at YPS Grounds in Patiala around 4:30 pm on Thursday and will travel a short distance to the rally venue. Despite assurances from Punjab Police and farmer unions that the rally will not be disrupted, the unions’ request to meet with PM Modi has been denied. BJP candidates like Ravinder Singh Bittu and Hans Raj Hans have criticized the farmer unions for stifling the voices of genuine farmers in Punjab.


BJP’s Strategy for Punjab Elections

The BJP is eager for the Prime Minister’s visit to galvanize support among Punjab’s farmers, especially since the party is contesting without its former ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal. Modi has already laid the groundwork for the campaign by blaming the Congress for the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots during a speech in Delhi, asserting that the Sikh community has not forgotten these events.

Rupani emphasized to News18 that although the Akali Dal is not aligned with the BJP this time, the people of Punjab are disillusioned with the Akali Dal, Congress, and AAP, and they are looking to Modi for leadership. “Punjab’s citizens are tired of the existing parties. They believe only Modi can strengthen and advance Punjab, which is why we are contesting solo. This strategy will work in our favor,” Rupani affirmed.


Addressing Farmers’ Concerns

BJP’s Amritsar candidate, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, discussed the farmer protests, viewing them as a natural part of democracy, and highlighted the BJP’s focus on boosting farmers’ incomes. He pointed out the potential for exporting local produce to significantly increase farmers’ earnings.

“In Amritsar, we cultivate vegetables and fruits. Exporting these can boost incomes by 15-20 times. Peas sold at Rs 10 locally fetch Rs 335 in Dubai and Rs 1,350 in the UK. The farmer unions might not want farmers to realize this potential. Additionally, parali can be converted into aviation fuel instead of being burnt. Addressing these real issues is crucial,” Sandhu conveyed to News18.


More Stories