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Friday, October 22, 2021

Farm leaders react: ‘Amarinder resignation to have no bearing on farmers’ agitation, happened for good’

However, several farmer leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said this may have no effect on the agitation.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: September 19, 2021 8:19:20 am
All political parties are their enemies, though main enemy is BJP. (Representational)

At a time when protests against the farm laws are in full swing and Punjab is on the brink of elections, the political upheaval caused by Captain Amarinder Singh’s sudden resignation as chief minister has taken the farmers and their leadership by surprise. The Indian Express spoke to some key farmer leaders of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on what impact this will have on their agitation, if any.

Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary, BKU (Ugrahan), the largest farm union of the state, said: “All political parties are their enemies, though main enemy is BJP. And when enemies are fighting among themselves, the morale of farmers is getting a boost. If at all President’s rule is enforced and Centre interferes in the state, farmers’ confidence will remain as upbeat as ever before.”

Bharti Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal, said, “Farmers have been protesting and sleeping on the roads for the past year and they aren’t doing it to get any power. The inter and inter-party tussle has no bearing on the farmers’ agitation. The Punjab government too has only amended laws over the three central laws which was a kind of acceptance of the Government of India’s interference in state subjects. According to our Constitution, agriculture and agricultural marketing are the state subjects and the Punjab government has never fought on the issue of Centre’s encroachment into the exclusive domains of the states but only made amended laws.”

“Whatever is happening, it’s happening for the good and farmers’ stir will not be impacted by it. Our only purpose is to get justice for our poor farmers who have already fought a long battle and will continue till we reach a conclusive outcome,” he further said, adding that it will give a boost to farmers’ agitation.

Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Dakaunda, general secretary Jagmohan Singh said: “On the one hand farmers have been on roads for the past over one year, on the other hand, the ruling Congress has been creating distablisation in the state which is uncalled for when just 4-5 months are left for the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections. There was no point in creating such a situation in the state by the present government as they should have solved it in a democratic way. Because this upheaval may lead to President’s rule in the state which is not good for our agitation because it will increase the central government’s interference in the state.”

“If Congress could not fulfill its promises in four and half years, what they do now when time is running out of their hands,” he asked.

“It would have been better to dissolve the Vidhan Sabha and the state go for an election rather than creating such intense infighting in the party. But we are farmers and our battle is against the unjustifiable laws and we will get them cancelled, irrespective of who comes and goes,” said Satnam Singh Sahni, general secretary, BKU Doaba, adding that otherwise also, scrapping of the three laws is in the hands of the central government.

Kamaljit Singh Kaki, convener of Pagri Sambhal Jatta Lehar, which supports SKM, said this was all pre-planned and by doing so they wanted to invite President’s rule in the state so that Centre could interfere in the state and farmers’ movement as well. “But farmers will not buckle under any pressure from any government,” he added.

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