August 10, 2021 7:10:13 am
In the run up to next year’s Punjab polls, an industrialists’ body from the state Monday floated a new political party — Bhartiya Aarthik Party (BAP) — with farmer leader and BKU (Chaduni) chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni as their chief ministerial face. The announcement was made by national president of Bahadurke Dyeing Association, Tarun Bawa Jain, on Beopari Diwas. Chaduni, who did not join the political party, was present on the stage when the announcement was made. He, however, remained non-committal of being the party’s CM’s face.
The Beopari Diwas was attended by leaders of Beopar Mandals from 29 states. Jain, who was main organiser of the Diwas, earlier had links with the BJP. His wife had remained a municipal councillor in Ludhiana in 2007 and 2012 on BJP ticket. Jain has been declared as the national president of BAP.
In his address, Chaduni said: “We need to jump into the system to fight it. If we do not contest elections, then how will we change the system? It is good that beoparis have taken the lead and dared to form a political outfit. They must contest on all the 117 seats in Punjab.”
Jain said, “We have floated a political party and started the formal process of getting it registered. All Punjab farmer unions are opposed to contesting elections, but Chaduni said that we must contest polls. He did not join the party but we have extended support to him. We have declared him as CM face of our party. We urge Chaduni ji to start touring Punjab and we will support him”.
Jain said the new party will have representation of farmers, beoparis and mazdoors. “We have given a slogan – “Mazdoor, Kisan, Beopari, Punjab mein ab sarkar hamari (In Punjab, there will be a government of llabourer, farmer and industrialists). We will announce candidates from all seats”.
Jain said that many industrial associations in Ludhiana were connected with his association. “Farmer outfits who support Mission Punjab 2022, are also with us. Mazdoors will support us too,” he said.
He added, “62 trade union leaders from 29 states of India came to support us. Traders and small businessmen who generate employment are neglected and so are farmers and labourers and hence, it is the time to unite and be part of electoral politics.
Chaduni termed the industrialists floating a new party as a good initiative and a “positive message” that they are on a common platform with farmers and labourers. “They have extended support to me but it is too early for me to decide whether I will be part of it (electoral contest) or not,” he added.
“Beopari cells will form bodies in Himachal and UP as well for upcoming polls,” said Jain.
Chaduni was suspended by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) for a week last month when he floated the idea of Mission Punjab 2022. After one week, he had started attending the meetings, but since Sunday, he has again stopped attending them.
In a video message on Sunday, he had said: “In the recent past four farmer outfits of Punjab had supported me in bringing one farmer jatha from Dera Baba Nanak till Singhu border… their leaders were removed from SKM meeting forcibly a day ago and hence in protest I also boycotted that meeting. I will not attend any meeting of SKM till the time this issue is not resolved. However, we will follow all instructions of SKM to protest against farm laws.”
Chaduni had further stated, “Time and again Punjab’s 32 unions have let us down, but we keep quiet as we are fighting for a common cause. They have told four unions of Punjab that they are not part of 32 farmer unions, just because they supported me. These are Pagri Sambhal Lehar led by Satnam Singh, Majha Kisan Union Sangrash Committee led by Gurpreet Singh, Punjab Federation Gurdaspur led by Inderpal Singh.”
The farmer leader, however, has clarified that he is still part of SKM.
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