February 11, 2021 11:33:52 am
Punjab is set to witness its first Mahapanchayat, on the lines of ones being held by farmers in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan, on Thursday at Jagraon grain market in Ludhiana.
The Mahapanchayat will witness participation of farmers and labourers from Ludhiana, Moga and Barnala. Apart from this arhtiyas, truckers, trade union members and even urban residents will also be in attendance.
In addition to this, it will be for the first time in this ongoing struggle against farm laws that BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) members will also be joining the protest. Though the outfit has been coordinating with Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on a regular basis, but it has never shared stage with SKM, neither in Punjab nor at Delhi borders.
“In the past as well we had organised joint dharnas a couple of times but yes, in this struggle against farm laws, our union members will be part of this Mahapanchayat and even union leader will also share stage with the other leaders,” said Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan).
He added, “Though we had been organising our protests independently after coordinating with SKM, but when the cause is big and there are efforts to create a divide, we should give a message of unity and hence we will be part of this Mahapanchayat. After all everyone is protesting for the repeal of farm laws as of now.”
Kanwaljeet Khanna from BKU (Dakaunda) said: “Though a number of protest rallies have been organised in the past as well in Punjab and even as of now pakka morchas are going on, but in this Mahapanchayat farmers, farm labourers, trade unions, truckers, Galla Mazdoor Union, Federation of Punjab Ahrtiya Association and even urban residents of Ludhiana will be part. We may expect students, teachers, shopkeepers and people from all walks of lives. In fact, this Mahapanchayat is being organised on demand of area residents despite the fact that Nagar Council polls are going on in Punjab, but nothing is more important than farm laws as of now.”
Meanwhile, Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of BKU (Rajewal), Jagjit Singh Dallewal, president of BKU Sidhupur, Buta Singh Burjgill, president of BKU Dakaunda, Manjeet Dhaner, senior vice president of BKU (Dakaunda), Dr Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union, Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Rajinder Singh Deep Singh Wala, general secretary of Kirti Kisan Union, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) and few others will be part of this Mahapanchayat. All the unions are Punjab-based but most of the speakers are coming from Singhu and Tikri borders to be part of this Mahapanchayat as they are at Delhi borders as part of protests against farm laws.
Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, said: “People of the area asked for it, they wanted that the union leaders must address them on a joint platform, few new programmes will also be given to them as this government does not seem to budge.”
Manjeet Dhaner, senior vice president of BKU Dakaunda said, “Pakka dharnas are going on, but a joint rally had not happened for the past many months and hence, we thought of doing one in Punjab as well. In this rally people from all walks of lives are participating and hence it will be a show of our unity that farming, non-farming — every community is connected with it. We are being insulted in Parliament by being called andolan jeevi or parjeevi…hence we thought of connecting to masses to talk about Government’s mindset.’
Jatinder Garg, Vice President of Federation of Ahrtiya Association of Punjab also confirmed their support to this Mahapnchayat.
SKM’s latest protest plan
# Feb 12: Dharnas at all the toll plazas of Rajasthan to make them toll free
# Feb 14: Candle march in memory of Pulwama blast martyrs
# Feb 16: Observing Sir Chhotu Ram Jayanti
# Feb 18: Rail roko across the country from noon to 4 pm
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines