BJP's nominee list keeps farmers in mind

BJP's nominee list keeps farmers in mind

Battling agrarian agitations in the Hindi belt, the BJP has experimented with fielding a large number of candidates with a background of farming.

Union Minister Jagat Prasad Nadda, who is the secretary of BJP's parliamentary board buttressed this point when he announced the party's first list of candidates for Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram on Saturday.

Out of the 77 candidates the party declared for Chhattisgarh on Saturday, 53 have a farming background.

In Telangana, three nominees with a farming background have been included in the list of 38 candidates declared, out of a total of 119 seats.

Farmers' agitation, which had put the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh on the mat last year, had echoed widely in Chhattisgarh in September 2017.

In March last year, farmers had warned the Chhattisgarh government of mass agitation, while in June, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee chief Bhupesh Baghel led the farmer's Jan Sankalpa rally in Rajnandgaon, the home turf of Chief Minister Raman Singh.

A party functionary said the agriculture backgrounds of nominees in many seats in Chhattisgarh were considered so as to bring farmers back into the party fold in the tribal state.

He said this is an experiment that will be repeated when giving out tickets for the Madhya Pradesh polls, given that it was the epicentre of the farmers' agitation last year.

The Congress is putting in great efforts to corner the government on the farmers issues, and the All India Kisan Mazdoor Congress has organised a 'Jawab Do, Hisaab Do' rally and a 'Sansad gherao' agitation for Tuesday.

The ticket distribution exercise also shows the BJP's efforts to reach out to the aspirational classes and bring all caste groups under its umbrella in Chhattisgarh, where it had won the last polls with a margin of just 0.75% against the Congress in 2013 Assembly polls.

In Chhattisgarh, 29 of the 77 candidates finalised belong to the Scheduled Tribes and 10 to the Scheduled Castes.

Three medical doctors each have found a place in the candidate lists of Chhattigarh and Telangana. Five lawyers have also been included in the Telangana list.


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