August 4, 2021 3:23:57 pm
BHARTIYA KISAN Union (BKU) Haryana chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni, under his ‘Mission Punjab’, launched to motivate farm unions and farmer leaders to contest state Assembly elections in 2022, reached Garhshankar area of Hoshiarpur district Tuesday, following which he also visited Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh and met office bearers of truck unions.
He appealed to farmers to contest elections, vote for themselves and bring a model that will be replicated across the country. He said Punjab’s farmer-related votes are more than double what is needed to win an election.
In Garhshankar, he was invited by former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) state president Rachhpal Singh Raju, who was recently expelled by BSP over his objections to the seat-sharing formula of the SAD-BSP alliance.
He was welcomed by a large number of locals including Dalits, farmers, and farm labourers.
Chaduni, who was suspended for a week by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) over his ‘Mission Punjab’ statements, has not stopped his journey under this vision. He said: “Punjab is number one in every field, be it the freedom struggle of the country or the ongoing farmers’ protest at the Delhi border where 500 farmers/farm labourers out of total 600 who had died in last eight months are from Punjab. Punjab is number one in filling the granary of the country in Green and White revolutions, then why can’t Punjab be number one in launching ‘Mission Punjab’ movement which will pave the way for the ‘Mission India’ movement to save this country’s poor from the cultures of political leaders?”
The farmer leader was welcomed with slogans like ‘Chaduni ji tum sangharsh karo hum tumhare saath hain (You carry on this struggle, we are with you)’.
“If we see the history of Punjab, majority people from here are connected to agriculture only and now its the duty of the state to change the history/system to save the lives of lakhs of farmers as in the past 20 years, 3-4 lakh farmers and farm labourers have died by suicide due to debts and poor incomes,” he said, while addressing the gathering.
“The debt on farmers of the country is nearly Rs 7-8 lakh crore while the corporates’ debt is double, around Rs 15 lakh crore, but not a single capitalist or corporate had died by suicide while 30-35 farmers and farm labourers are taking their own lives in the country daily,” he added.
“If we see this year’s record, 3 per cent of people’s (the rich of this country) income has gone up and 97 per cent people have witnessed a downfall. So what is the solution to this? This farmers’ protest is not only a struggle against three farm laws, which should be called agri trade laws, or only a struggle of farmers, it is people’s protest now because these corporates are purchasing apple, onion, potato at the rate of Rs 25/kg, 8/kg and Rs 5/kg, respectively, from farmers and selling to the people at the rate of Rs 250 per kg, Rs 80/kg and Rs 40/kg, respectively. Still there are 20 crore people in our country who do not get two meals,” Chaduni further said.
“Agro business laws (three farm laws) will loot every section of society and now it is our duty to snatch this power from these leaders and become our own master by contesting elections. These leaders have looted us and deposited money in foreign banks…Tell me 600 people have already died at Delhi border, they are sitting under the sky in 2 degrees and 45 degrees temperature. Where is the government? Who has come to see them,” the farm leader asked.
“Our condition was bad before these laws too which are death warrants for us and even if we got these cancelled we are still on the ventilator because we are still dependent on them for every little thing,” he said, adding, “…Political power is the game of votes, why we are giving our votes to them, why can’t we give it to ourselves?”
The farmer leader claimed that farmers and farm-related sections make up nearly 80-90 lakh votes. “When we are the owners of this many votes, which is more than sufficient to win an election, why have we (farmers) become beggars and asking them to change policy for us? Why can we not contest under Mission Punjab and win the elections?” he asked.
“Mission Punjab is just the beginning, we need ‘Mission India’ soon. Under Mission Punjab, we just need 117 honest leaders to win this power game for the good of this society where poor can have food, education and health facilities,” said Chaduni.
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