The moment his meeting with the farmers ended, locals were seen walking away with the brand new cots that had been laid out by his party. About 2,000 of them and all except a few heavy iron ones were taken away.
It all began with a raid of eatables and bottled water stored in a tent. A few people then picked up some cots and the crowds followed. Soon, only a few cots made of iron were left on the vast ground, probably because the remaining ones were too heavy to carry.
The khaat sabha marked the beginning of Gandhi’s farmer-focused month-long yatra or tour of UP, which is gearing up for assemble elections in 2017.
He began his campaign predictably with an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi who he accused of having “forgotten farmers”.
“Modiji talked a lot about farmers and how he intended to help them. But as soon as he came to power, farmers were promptly forgotten,” alleged Gandhi, whose yatra is a bid to win the state after a gap of 27 long years. He began his 2,500-km journey from Deoria in eastern UP and aims to cover 223 of Uttar Pradesh’s 403 assembly constituencies. The massive public outreach will witness him stopping in villages for close interactions with farmers as he collects a charter of farmers’ demands.
Khaat or Chai, charchas will go on but the results will only be declared in 2017, till then grab your cup of chai and sit on a khaat to enjoy the political showdown of 2017.