January 24, 2022 2:43:48 am
AFTER announcement of just 47 candidates for Punjab polls, differences have started emerging between two Left parties and the farmers’ front Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM).
They had initially decided to contest polls together. Now, both CPI (ML) Liberation and CPI have decided to contest on their own symbol.
While CPI (ML) Liberation will go alone on 11 seats it will contest, CPI candidates will fight on own symbol and will not be opposed by SSM as of now.
On Saturday, CPI (ML) Liberation announced that it will go alone and fight on its own symbol. Earlier, SSM had announced Bhagwant Samao as the outfit’s candidate from Bhadaur seat of Barnala district. Samao is the president of Mazdoor Mukti Morcha and state committee member of CPI (ML) Liberation.
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In a meeting of the party held in Mansa on Saturday under the leadership of national secretary Deepankar Bhattacharya, it was decided that CPI (ML) Liberation will be contesting on 11 seats on its own party symbol.
Sukhdarshan Natt, CPI (ML) Liberation’s state committee member, told The Indian Express: “Our Kisan wing All India Kisan Mahasabha struggled on a joint platform at Delhi borders against farm laws under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha. However, after a political party Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) was formed in Punjab, it was suggested to SSM office bearers that seat adjustment should be done based on the political parties. However, SSM told us to contest on their symbol which wasn’t acceptable to us. Hence, this decision was taken.”
Bhagwant Samao added, “SSM has formed three committees regarding elections, but in all committees they have placed farmer union leaders only. Thus difference of opinion is coming right from the beginning. So, it was decided to contest on our symbol. Now, I will contest from Bhadaur only, but on the symbol of CPI (ML) Liberation.”
Rajwinder Singh Rana, state secretary of CPI (ML) Liberation, said, “We will be contesting on seats Maur, Ferozepur Rural, Faridkot Urban, Budhlada, Sardulgarh, Bhadaur, Mehal Kalan, Dirba, Dhuri and Moga on our own.”
On many of the seats mentioned above, SSM has already announced their candidates and the sides will face-off.
About the Mansa seat, Rana said: “Gurnam Singh Bhikhi is SSM candidate from Mansa. We will be supporting their candidates on this seat.”
As far as CPI (ML) Liberation’s electoral record goes, Surjan Singh Joga was elected as MLA from Joga constituency of Mansa district in 1992 when he contested from Indian People Front supported by CPI (ML) Liberation.
CPI (ML) Liberation, despite contesting polls since 1995, has never won any seat in Punjab on its own.
CPI to contest on own symbol
The CPI too has decided to contest on their own symbol despite the fact that six of their candidates have been declared by SSM in their previous two lists. These candidates are Krishan Chauhan from Budhlada, Satwant Singh from Lehragaga, Amarjit Singh from Amritsar West , Gurditta Singh from Nihal Singh wala , Surinder Dandian from Jalalabad and Sukhwinder Singh from Malaut.
Bant Singh Brar, general secretary of CPI, Punjab, said, “Earlier, SSM was of the view that our candidates should contest on SSM symbol, but after a meeting with us they have agreed now. They had agreed to leave 9 seats for CPI candidates of which six had already been announced by SSM. These six are actually CPI candidates who will now contest on our (CPI) party’s symbol.”
About the other three seats, he added: “The remaining three seats are Sultanpur Lodhi, Baghapurana and Jagraon about which they had an agreement with us. However, on Saturday they announced their own candidate for Sultanpur Lodhi. But we are in talks with them and we are sure that something will be worked out for the remaining three seats as well.”
Punjab had two CPI MLAs in 2002 — Gurjant Singh Kuttiwal from Bathinda Rural and Nathu Ram from Malaut. Both had defected to Congress after winning.
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