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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

AAP fielding those rejected by others, will contest polls on our own, says SSM

Sources said that SSM wanted a 50-60% seat share in this alliance but it did not work out.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: January 8, 2022 9:07:09 am
Ruldu Singh Mansa, senior member of SSM and president of Punjab Kisan Union gets active with campaign in Mansa.

Ruldu Singh Mansa, senior leader of Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), on Friday said that though there were some talks with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for an alliance, but now all discussions have come to an end.

Ruldu was in Mansa on Friday and he had gone there to meet farmers in various villages. He said, “Our president Balbir Singh Rajewal did had a discussion with AAP, but now we have no plans of alliance with any party. We will contest these polls on our own. This was decided in a meeting of SSM members on January 5.”

Sources said that SSM wanted a 50-60% seat share in this alliance but it did not work out. Ruldu said, “Everyone is fighting this elections with farmers’ stir as the main poll plank, so why not give farmers’ morcha more importance? We had a discussion with the leaders of all the 22 farmers’ unions who are part of SSM and had initially decided that in order to bring change in the system, an alliance is needed. But now we have realised that AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal is not even keen to form a government in Punjab and this is the reason that his choice of candidates are the rejected lot of other parties.”

He added that they realised that AAP is also behaving like any other political party in Punjab while but they claim to be doing politics of change. “Their plans seem to be to favour other political parties in the state by becoming a spoilsport. Therefore, we have decided to contest elections on our own.”

He added, “As many as 34 seats of the 117 are SC seats and all these will be given to mazdoor leaders. In the urban areas, candidates will be from retired employees’ associations or even businessmen, writers or other intellectuals who remained part of our struggle against farm laws directly or indirectly. In rest of the rural areas, farmers will contest. We are in the process of getting our party’s election symbol and our first choice is to get a tractor as a poll symbol.”

Ruldu is the president of Punjab Kisan Union, which has a strong base in Mansa but during the stir they have expanded to other districts as well. He said, “We have been protesting against the farm laws since June 2020 and hence we already have a good reach in the villages. However, we will still visit all the villages. While we don’t have money to spend on elections but we are the change that the people are looking for. We will come out with a calendar for 2022, which will have details of SSM, including all important dates of our farm struggle.”

Elaborating on why they decided to contest the polls, he said, “When our morcha was lifted from Delhi, we realised that everybody wants a people’s government. Though 22 farmer unions are part of SSM, the rest will also support our cause.”

He added that looking at the political scenario in Punjab, where communal forces are getting active, it is a high time to have a peoples’ government. “We have seen the sort of environment that has been created in the past two days after PM Narendra Modi went back from Punjab. A wrong narrative is being created about Punjab which is not acceptable to us. Such episodes are even stronger reasons for SSM to contest polls and end such communal tension from the state,” he said.

Prem Singh Bhangu, president of All India Kisan Federation ( Punjab) and one of the SSM member said, “We have submitted our application to ECI for formal registration of our party and we are hopeful of getting it registered in a week or ten days time period.”

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