Yadav, Bhushan to lead farmers' movement in Punjab

  • Manpreet Randhawa, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 30, 2015 09:15 IST

Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the rebel leaders who were ousted from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) two months ago, will launch a five-day protest march in Punjab in July in support of farmers.

As part of Swaraj Abhiyan, the campaign committee of Jai Kisan Andolan that met here on Friday was unanimous that Yadav and Bhushan would lead the march in the first week of July to rake up issues pertaining to peasantry of the state.

During the meeting, which was attended by 49 members from 17 districts, the campaign committee also deliberated on the issue of floating a new political outfit in Punjab.

Prof Manjit Singh, national working committee member of Swaraj Abhiyan, addressing a press conference, said, "Besides addressing core issues pertaining to the woes of farmers in Punjab, we are undertaking the five-day campaign in the state also to test political waters. We are not in a hurry to announce a new political party as we have already burnt our fingers while being in the AAP. Let there be a groundswell in Punjab in our favour and let the people say there is a need for a new political outfit and let the people throw a new leadership."

When asked as to by what time they planned to float the new political outfit, Prof Manjit said though eventually they all had to work in the same direction, there was not possibility of taking a haphazard decision immediately.

He said Prof Anand Kumar and Prof Ajit Jha would also participate in the campaign. He said the members were also constantly in touch with AAP's Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, a supporter of Swaraj Abhiyan. "Maybe he will speak out his mind at the right moment," said Prof Manjit.

Tarsem Jodhan, member, national working committee, Swaraj Abhiyan, and advocate Rajiv Godara, spokesperson of Haryana Swaraj Abhiyan, were also present at the conference.

It is decided that in rural Punjab door-to-door campaign, Jago Kisan Jago, would be launched immediately not only to recruit the volunteers but also to distribute literature on the plight of the farmers.

From each village the andolan will visit, a kalash (a small pot) containing the soil of the village and duly marked by the villagers would also be collected only to carry along to Delhi during the yatra. Jai Kisan Andolan is launched at the all India level to prepare the farmers to gather in Delhi at the time of monsoon session of Parliament to remind the government that the land acquisition bill would not be allowed to pass against the wishes of the farmers of India.

In the meeting, the members felt that the ruling Akali-BJP combine in Punjab had ruined agriculture and reduced the Punjab governance to a rule of mafia.

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