New Delhi: Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella union of farmers’ bodies, after a meeting at Kondli-Singhu on Saturday, said that any farm organisation that is planning to contest the Punjab Assembly elections will no longer be part of the joint front.
SKM, that spearheaded the protest against the three farm laws that have now been repealed, also gave a call for observing a ‘Day of Betrayal’ on January 31 against the government ‘going back on its assurances’ to the farmers’ demands, including legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) of crops.
Speaking at a press conference, the SKM leaders also said that BKU leader Rakesh Tikait will visit Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh for three days from January 21 to press their demand for the sacking of Union Minister Ajay Mishra from the central council of ministers, after his son has been facing the charges of mowing down the agitating 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 SKM leader Yudhvir Singh, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Singh also said that SKM does not agree with farmer bodies taking part in the Punjab polls and they will not be part of it.
“Those organisations taking part in polls are not part of SKM. We will decide about our relation with them in a meeting of SKM in April,” he said.
SKM leader Joginder Singh Ugrhan seconded him saying that the SKM would have nothing to do with such organisations.
The statement comes in the light of two prominent leaders of the SKM, Gurnam Singh Chadhuni and Balbir Singh Rajewal, having joined the fray in Punjab.
While Chaduni has formed his own political party, SKM’s statement comes as a blow to the Samyukt Samaj Morcha that is to contest the Punjab assembly elections under the leadership of Balbir Singh Rajewal.
According to the statement, SKM clarified that from the very beginning, it has made it a rule that no political party can use its name, banner or platform while fielding candidates for the state elections.
“The same rule applies in elections as well. The name or banner or platform of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will not be used by any party or candidate in the election,” said the SKM statement.
Expressing anger over the Government not having fulfilled any of its promises made in its letter on December 9, on the basis of which the farmers decided to withdraw the protests, the SKM said no action has been taken by the Central government, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal governments on the promise of immediate withdrawal of cases during the protest, while the Haryana government has only done some paperwork.
The SKM also extended its support to the nationwide strike called by the trade unions on January 23-24.