Updated: August 28, 2021 12:49:13 am
FARMERS OF Kirti Kisan Union (KKU) on Friday clashed with the police and tried to push through barricades as they gathered in large numbers in Moga’s Baghapurana to show black flags to SAD President, Sukhbir Badal, who is carrying out a 100-day “Gall Punjab Di” poll outreach programme to garner support before the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections.
The farmers, while showing black flags to Sukhbir’s convoy, clashed with the police amid a heavy security blanket that was put in place on the route to the venue where the Shiromani Akali Dal chief was scheduled to arrive. Sensing massive opposition by the protesting farmers, the police later decided to diverge several routes for Sukhbir’s convoy to reach the venue safely. Some protesters were also briefly detained by the police and released later.
Balkaran Singh Vairoke, a youth wing leader of the Kirti Kisan Union, said that wherever the politicians go for campaigning in Punjab for the upcoming polls, irrespective of their party, they will face protests by their union. “We are protesting because instead of focusing on getting the three farm laws withdrawn by Centre, the politicians of Punjab are now busy in addressing rallies for the upcoming polls. They should first focus on farmers’ issues who have been protesting for months, instead of polls. Votes are only going to divide people as well politicians. We will protest wherever they go in Punjab because instead of making farmers’ issues their priority, they are focusing on elections and addressing gatherings.”
Meanwhile, Sukhbir Badal — who has faced multiple protests by farmer groups so far during his 100-day yatra, even dubbing the agitators as being planted by Opposition parties — announced Tirath Singh Mahla, the party’s Moga district president, as the candidate from Baghapurana constituency for 2022 polls.
In 2017, Mahla had lost to Congress’ Darshan Singh Brar from the same constituency. Mahla had then finished third in the race after being edged out by AAP’s GS Kang too.
Addressing a gathering at Baghapurana, Sukhbir said that Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, should be ready to face a no- confidence motion in the forthcoming Punjab Assembly session, as he had lost the confidence of a majority of his ministers and legislators and did not have any right to remain in his chair.
He said that Punjab CM should also move a resolution in the forthcoming session to repeal the three black agricultural laws. “Captain Amarinder has tried to fool the Punjabis by moving a resolution amending the three laws. This is not acceptable at all. We demand the repeal of all the black laws now. If the Congress government does not do this now, we assure Punjabis that we will do so immediately if a SAD-BSP government is formed in the state”.
Sukhbir also demanded that the next Assembly session be held for a minimum of eight to ten days. “Convening a one-day session simply to fulfil a constitutional requirement is like committing fraud with the people of the state,” he said.
He said the government should not run away from facing the people and should answer the allegations of corruption and scams — like involvement with drugs, liquor and sand mafias — by its ministers and MLAs.
“The CM should tell the House why he no action has been taken against ministers, including Sukhjinder Randhawa, Balbir Sidhu, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, and Sunder Sham Arora. who were allegedly involved in corrupt deals”.
He said that CM also owed an explanation to Punjabis for the encouragement given to gangsters by his Congress government. “Earlier the state was witnessing rampant extortions and targeted killings. Now, we are witnessing daily shootouts,” he said.
Announcing Mahla’s candidature, Sukhbir said Mahla was an honest leader who was connected to the roots while claiming that the local MLA Darshan Singh Brar was ‘running various mafias’.
Sukhbir also met members of the district Bar association and professionals, including doctors and engineers as well as members of the trading community and visited a cloth store in the main market to take direct feedback from traders.
He also made an impromptu stop at a tubewell adjoining a paddy field at Langeana Nawan village. He interacted with youths who were playing cards at the spot.
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