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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

BKU (Krantikari) congratulates members, SKM shrugs blame

In a statement, the umbrella group of farmer unions said: “On receiving the news of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Punjab on January 5, 10 farmer organisations affiliated to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha had announced a symbolic protest

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
January 7, 2022 5:56:18 am
The statement claimed that “it is clear from the video of the occasion that the protesting farmers did not even make any effort to go towards the Prime Minister's convoy. Therefore, the threat to the life of the Prime Minister seems completely concocted”. (Representative)

A day after a security breach in the PM’s convoy in Ferozepur, the SKM and BKU (Krantikari), which has been blamed for blocking the route on which the PM was travelling, have shirked blame for the incident.

While BKU (Krantikari) “congratulated” all its members, the SKM accused the PM of trying to “malign both the state of Punjab and the farmers’ movement”.

BKU (Krantikari) is headed by Surjit Singh Phool, resident of Rampura Phul area of Bathinda is the president of this union, while Baldev Zira , resident of Zira constituency of Ferozepur district is general secretary of the association. The phone numbers of both the farmer union leaders were switched off on Thursday.

Phool, however, released a video statement in the evening in which he said: “All the union members need to be congratulated…when we were going to Delhi, BJP had dug up roads, used water cannons on us…the same BJP workers were forced to walk through muddy roads to reach rally venues ..they must have felt a bit of what we experienced at borders.”

After the January 26 violence last year, the SKM had suspended BKU (Krantikari) and that suspension was revoked almost a month later on February 26.

Phool, along with his supporters, had gone to the outer ring road against SKM’s planned route. Sources said that SKM and the Krantikari group have had a difference of opinion many times.
On Thursday, however, the SKM seemed to back them.

In a statement, the umbrella group of farmer unions said: “On receiving the news of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Punjab on January 5, 10 farmer organisations affiliated to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha had announced a symbolic protest…There was no program to stop the Prime Minister’s visit or obstruct his programme.”

The statement added, “As per the pre-determined schedule, peaceful protests were held at every district and tehsil headquarters of Punjab on January 5. When some farmers were stopped by the police administration from going to the district headquarters of Ferozepur, they protested by sitting on the road at many places. Of these, was that flyover of Pyarayana too where the Prime Minister’s convoy came, stopped and went back. The farmers protesting there had no concrete information that the Prime Minister’s convoy was going to pass through. They got this information from the media after the Prime Minister’s return.”

The statement claimed that “it is clear from the video of the occasion that the protesting farmers did not even make any effort to go towards the Prime Minister’s convoy. Therefore, the threat to the life of the Prime Minister seems completely concocted”.

“It is a matter of great regret that to cover up the failure of his rally, the Prime Minister has tried to malign both the state of Punjab and the farmers’ movement by using the pretext of somehow his life was saved,” it said.

Meanwhile, another farmer union, BKU (Dakaunda) said that it was not right to block PM’s route.
“The entire incident is of political gimmicks by Congress and BJP in terms of blame game,” said Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU (Dakaunda).

He added, “We hail protest by farmer unions of PM but we feel that cavalcade should have been given the way. We have the right to protest and peaceful manner needs to be followed always without any confrontation.”

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