July 8, 2021 10:04:27 pm
THE SAMYUKTA Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Thursday reacted to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)-Haryana president, Gurnam Singh Chaduni’s statement that protesting farmers should contest the upcoming Assembly polls, and said that their first and foremost mission was to get the three farm laws repealed.
Chaduni had on Wednesday launched `Mission Punjab’ while hinting heavily at the fact that the farmer unions should get together and contest the 2022 Assembly elections.
However, SKM member and president of BKU-Sidhupur, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, said, “When we started our struggle, it was purely to get the three new farm laws repealed, to impress upon MSP for all crops, get the electricity act cancelled and protest against the environment ordinance as well. Over a period of time, fuel prices have also become an issue that is hurting us. Hence, we are at the moment focusing only on these issues. We don’t want to deviate our attention elsewhere. We are very clear in our agenda. Mission Punjab is a farmer leader’s individual opinion, but not that of SKM and of any other farmer union.”
Dr Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union and also a member of SKM, said, “We had a meeting with Gurnam Singh Chaduni in which we advised him not to give such statements which can cause confusion. The statements given may be his personal opinion, but being a senior leader, we requested him to refrain from making such statements as our first and foremost agenda is to get the laws repealed and nothing else.”
Talking about SKM’s earlier visit to poll-bound states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Dr Pal said, “In West Bengal and other states we went to make people aware about the farm laws and tell them about what the government was doing with the farmers. We advised them not to vote for the BJP, which was anti-farmer. The rest was up to them, as to who they wanted to choose. In Punjab, elections are still almost a year away. But people are already sensitized against the BJP. In Uttar Pradesh, too, we will start Mission UP on lines of Punjab by staging protests at toll plazas, malls, and by protesting against the BJP leaders. In Uttar Pradesh, people need to be sensitized as they are also going to the polls next year as well. Our agenda is only to make people aware about what the BJP is doing with the farmers. We are not here to be a part of politics.”
Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president BKU Ugrahan — the largest farmer union of Punjab and part of SKM — said, “Our union [the SKM] believes in struggle and fighting against the wrongdoings of the government. We are very clear that we do not want to get associated with any political party and contest any elections. So no question arises of taking part in polls. However, we are very much on the same page with SKM about the UP mission, where people need to be made aware of the farm laws, the BJP’s role in it and how they can be detrimental. In Punjab, people are already aware and do not even allow BJP leaders to enter their villages. In fact, many of their own leaders are now openly speaking against the party’s decisions.”
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary BKU-Dakaunda that is part of the SKM, added, “We are protesting to get the new farm laws repealed and make people aware about them. Our protests started from Punjab and we have sensitised the farmers of other states as well. But we are not going to deviate from our agenda at all. Repeal of farm laws — this is our first and last mission. “Assi jitange zarur jari jang rakhiyo (We will win for sure, let’s keep the struggle alive)
Recently, rumours of Balbir Singh Rajewal joining the AAP were also doing the rounds. However, Rajewal himself rejected the rumours and had stated that he has no plans to join any political party, but his focus on the fight against farm laws.
SKM’s other leaders — like Yudvir Singh, from BKU (Tikait), and Hannan Mollah from All India Kisan Sabha, among others — had also on Wednesday said that Mission Punjab was not the agenda of the union.
The statement released by SKM had stated “Samyukta Kisan Morcha clarifies that the joint front did not have anyone present ideas, nor have discussions and decisions about Punjab elections; nothing like “Mission Punjab” has been decided by SKM. Therefore, it appeals to media not to attribute individual farmer leader’s announcements and statements to Samyukta Kisan Morcha”
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