In Punjab villages, farmers find union political foray ‘hasty’, question impact on aandolan


In the village of Kila Bharian in Sangrur, the common point of discussion on Saturday morning is the political front – SSM – launched by the farmers ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections. As farmers discuss the issue, a common refrain is how this will impact the fight for PSM.

Farmer Jasbir Singh (40) said: “This new front will be a topic of discussion in every village. We had talked about the cleaning policy, but we did not think that the people of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) would make this decision so quickly. Too fast and too early! Our fight for the MSP is still halfway.

Satnam Singh Kila Bharian (30), a fellow farmer interrupted him: “Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after taking two steps back the government would take another step back. two steps forward. But there was no union leader to react because they are busy starting their own political party. Now, what will happen to the morcha, our struggle on agricultural issues has been suspended, it is not over. SKM’s first meeting takes place on January 15th after the protest was suspended and long before that we heard of two political fronts being launched – one by Gurnam Singh Chaduni and the other by 22 farmers unions under the direction of Balbir Singh Rajewal.

Kuldeep Joshi, a retired Vigilance Bureau inspector and active farmer leader in Duggan village of Sangrur said: will support him. We have given enough chances to all the political parties, why not at the farmers’ front. They know the needs of farmers.

Joshi is from BKU (Dakaunda). This union has now decided to stay out of politics.
Gurmeet Singh Bhuttiwal, from Bhuttiwal village in Sangrur, added: “If I can’t be on the political front, I can at least help them. I think a new front should have a chance. If we can get farm laws repealed, and if we can get our own government. Let’s give a chance to clean up the political system.

Joshi added, “During the protest, the unions of the unemployed, teachers’ unions and various other employee federations were in contact with us and they too are with us. So it is not only farmers, but also civil servants, pensioners, unemployed young people who want a change in the system.

However, Sandeep Kumar Jyani from Khaira Khurd village in Mansa has a different opinion.

Jyani, a farmer, said: “Those who are attached to farmers’ unions in their organizational structure will go with the front, but those who have been committed to fighting against farm laws voluntarily will vote as they see fit. Already a Gursewak Singh Sidhu from the front floated by BKU (Chaduni) is moving into the area and now this new front. What about the fight for MSP and other issues? ”

sKrishan Kumar (40) from Kirandi village in Mansa added: “This is a hasty decision. Joining a lok lehar and voting for a political party are two different subjects. What if they don’t get enough votes? It seems like this is a first step for SKM to collapse. Kisan union officials can vote for them, but so far not all unions are on the same page either. The unions are giving political parties a chance to point the finger at them because they said earlier that they had nothing to do with politics.

Paramjeet Kaur from Ekolaha village in Khanna added, “Rajewal ji stays at two villages in my village in Khanna sub-division of Ludhiana district. My 75 year old father, Zorawar Singh, went to Delhi border with BKU (Rajewal). Previously he was in Pakka Dharnas in Punjab. However, he disappeared after the January 26 episode at Fort Rouge. I made repeated calls to Rajewal ji, went to the Singhu border, but got no information. Rajewal hasn’t even contacted me once, never took my phone calls. If every vote matters, what about me? My father disappeared into this fight and the union remained indifferent to it throughout, which is why now challenging the polls seems as if the unions are playing with the emotions of the farmers who have contributed money for the morcha and whose family members died at the Delhi border.

Doubts also remain about the support that will be enjoyed by farmers’ political morcha.

Narpinder Singh, sarpanch of Shmashpur Singhan in Fatehgarh Sahib district, said: “During the protest morcha, everyone was on a platform. Now, in elections, people are free to choose their candidate. I cannot say if the whole village will move in one direction like a wave like they did to protest against the agricultural laws. ”

Preet Pal Singh Brar, Sarpanch from Bargari Village in Faridkot District, said, “I think those who are loyal to Congress will vote for Congress, and so will SAD. Float voting can now go anywhere. Normally, this floating vote decides the government.

Inder Sharma, general secretary of the Kinnow Mandi Ahritya association in Abohar, said: “Before, everyone was committed to this fight against agricultural laws, but now we think as if it was done to form a bank. of votes. The villagers contributed for the morcha, the contributions also came from the urban areas. As many unions have decided to contest the polls, the fight over agricultural issues will take a back seat. I find this to be a hasty decision.


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