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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Polls a month away, 2 farm unions mull walking out of SSM

They are holding discussions with the members across various districts about the people’s opinion at the ground regarding SSM.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
January 15, 2022 2:20:51 am
While Rajewal and other leaders sit to finalise the list of candidates, aspirants wait to submit applications at the office of Samyukt Samaj Morcha in Ludhiana Friday. Gurmeet Singh

Even as all political parties, including the recently formed Samyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), a political party of the farmers formed to contest coming Vidhan Sabha, are gearing up for the elections, a couple of partners of SSM are now re-considering their decision of becoming a part of this political outfit.
As many as 19 of the 32 farm unions of the state have formed SSM ahead of the elections with Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Rajewal’s president Balbir Singh Rajewal as its CM face.

Now two big farm unions, including one based in Doaba and other based in Malwa, are again reconsidering their decision.

They are holding discussions with the members across various districts about the people’s opinion at the ground regarding SSM.

One of the members of the Malwa based union, which is among the biggest farm unions of the state, said that they are reconsidering their decision because after talking to so many numbers of their members across various districts they do not get an encouraging response from their members itself. “Several district and block level leaders of our unions have given feedback that we should not be the part of SSM and should remain apolitical,” he said.

“Now we are re-discussing because if we opt to come out of the SSM, 2-3 more unions would also come out with us and it will hurt SSM badly,” he said, adding that everything took place in a hurry then and they could not take proper feedback from the ground then.

“After formation of SSM we realized that now they can’t act like a pressure group as they were acting earlier and people will also now treat them like any other political party,” said a leader of Malwa based Union, adding that during the year-long agitation Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) did not allow any political party or leader to speak from their stage and now when they have become part of a political party-SSM- they would not be allowed to speak from the stage.

“We feel that SSM candidates can dent the votes of a particular party but it is difficult to get a good number of seats when traditional parties are there. And all the farmers are not going to vote only to SSM as farmers votes are also divided,” said a leader of Doaba based farm union, adding that out of 32 farm unions 13 have already decided to stay away from SSM and most of them will also not vote to SSM so how can we expect that all farmers will vote to SSM when even fellow farm unions are not ready to support us.

“Even our own members have different political affiliations and it is difficult to change their mind set,” said he, adding that the ground reports are also suggesting that by becoming a political party, the farmer unions may hurt their reputation as farm unions so we are r-considering our decision.
Recently, the largest farm union Bharti Kisan Union BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), which is not the part of SSM, had recently clarified it will remain ‘aloof’, Nothing more nothing less in the elections.

Both Joginder Singh Ugrahan the State President and Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, General Secretary of BKU Ugrahan had recently said that in accordance with the policy of aloofness, in any of the Government conducted elections right from State Assembly downwards at any level, any of its leaders holding the union office from the Block level to the to the State Level, shall neither contest the elections at any level, nor shall support / canvass for any other candidate whatsoever. Each member of the union has a democratic right to vote for any candidate or not to vote at all.

They even said that Balbir Singh Rajewal, political leader of SSM has also tried to create another confusion and mislead the people when he stated that ‘Ugrahan Sahib’ (Joginder Singh Ugrahan) may make any statement in the press but he is siding with our political outfit during the assembly elections. This is also a blatant and obvious falsehood and nothing but a misleading Propaganda. It is made clear that in this statement of Rajewal there is no truth at all and it is totally fake and false without any iota of any truth, said BKU Ugrahan, which has around 2.5 lakh members across the state according September 2020 census of the union while its membership has increased manifold in the year-long agitation leaders.

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