After a statewide padyatra-cum-mass contact programme, the Bihar unit of the Congress is gearing up to muster popular support for the party on the issue of farmers’ protest over the new farm’s laws by organising a district-level dharna and demonstration across the state on March 25.
Grappling with the challenge to bring the party back into relevance, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Bihar and former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das visited 36 out of 38 districts of the state to utilise the farmers’ unrest to resurrect the party at grassroots level.
Das led the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) drive christened as ‘Kisan Satyagrah Andolan’ which kicked off on January 26 and was aimed at sensitising the people in general and farmers in particular about devastating fallout of the controversial farms laws on rural economy amply suggests that party’s desperation to retrieve its past glory, said chairman of BPCC media department Rajesh Rathore.
As part of the third leg of the drive, the state congress leaders held a series of farmers’ conclave (Kisan Mahapanchayat held at Samastipur, Darbhanga and Madhubani—core districts of Mithilanchal— and at Jehanabad). Das is set to conclude the drive by holding kisan mahapanchayat at Nawada and Sheikhpura in the next phase.
“Our next mission would be to take the mass awareness campaign to the block levels. Four-five regional level farmers’ conclave will be held next month, before holding a mega rally at Gandhi Maidan, the date of which would be announced later,” Das said.
He also claimed that the party’s drive was successful in eliciting huge response from the people. “Tattered state of economy that led to massive joblessness, mounting miseries of the people owing to the BJP-led government’s bid to leave no scope for taxing them and unfriendly approach of the state government for development of industries have led to deep frustration among the common masses. Corruption at every step and deteriorating law and order have compounded the people’s miseries,” said the AICC leader.
“The drive also witnessed impressive participation of the party veterans, who had otherwise kept themselves off from the party’s sponsored programme. The programme also stood out, as it managed to pull in a large number of youths in Mithilanchal – once considered a stronghold of Congress,” said Prem Chandra Mishra, also an AICC media panelist.
Former MLA Amit Kumar Tunna, former BPCC vice president Praveen Singh Kushwaha and senior AICC member Kishore Kumar Jha, who led the mass awareness drive in different areas, exuded confidence that the party’s campaign would give impetus to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders’ bid to intensify their protests in Delhi yet again.
“BKU leader Rakesh Tikait and others are also expected to visit Bihar and solicit farmers’ support for their agitation,” said Kushwaha.
A section of party leaders said that leaders had come out of their comfort zones and demonstrated their strength in their respective areas in an apparent bid to get suitable positions in the organization, which, according to Das, is likely to be revamped next month.