Sonepat, January 15
Samyukta Kisan Morcha said on Saturday that farmer organisations that are planning to contest next month’s elections will no longer be part of the joint front.
SKM leaders said at a press conference after their meeting at Kondli on the Singhu border also said that BKU leader Rakesh Tikait will visit Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh for three days in January to push to have Union Minister Ajay Mishra sacked from the central council of ministers. Mishra’s son faces criminal charges for mowing down protesting farmers last year.
“Tikait will meet victims, jailed farmers, and officials. If there is no progress, a siege may be laid in Lakhimpur by farmer organisations,” said Yudhvir Singh.
Singh also said that the SKM does not agree with farmer organisations participating in the election in Punjab and they will not be part of it.
“Those organisations taking part in polls are not part of SKM. We will decide about our relationship with them in a meeting of SKM four months later,” he said.
SKM leader Joginder Singh Ugrhan said, “SKM has nothing to do with them”.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a joint front of over farmers’ unions that spearheaded protests against three controversial agriculture laws that the Parliament passed in 2020, has maintained that it wants to remain an apolitical movement.
Twenty-two farmer unions in Punjab announced last month that they would contest next month’s assembly elections under the name Sanyukt Samaj Morcha.
Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Balbir Singh Rajewal, both of who were part of the farmers’ protests at Delhi borders, have announced they would contest elections.
Rajewal, president of a faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, is among those whose candidature SSM has announced.
On the other hand, Chaduni, who’d hinted at his intention to contest the Punjab assembly elections in July 2021 and faced a week’s from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha over his remarks, announced his own party, the Samyukta Sangharsh Party, last month.
More recently, there have been talks of an alliance between the two farmers’ parties for the elections.
Punjab votes on February 14 in the second phase of the seven-phase assembly elections. Votes will be counted on March 10.