Focus on BJP, don’t heckle leaders of other parties: Farm unions make fresh appeal to volunteers
With protesters opposing leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress in Punjab despite repeated appeals of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmer unions on Friday asked their volunteers to focus just on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and not heckle others.
They, however, said the activists may question the non-BJP leaders but it must be done “in a democratic way” so that it does not turn ugly.
In a video message, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), one of the largest farmer organisations, on Friday cleared the union’s stance, saying they will gherao the BJP leaders during the Punjab assembly polls.
“The BJP is the ruling party at the Centre which is not repealing the three black laws. Though other political parties are also the same, we will not treat them in the same manner. We will give a call to boycott the election rallies of these parties in villages till the agitation is over,” said Ugrahan.
The union, in a press statement, condemned the lathicharge on farmers during a rally of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal in Moga on Thursday.
BKU (Dakaunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh said their cadre will strongly oppose the BJP and its allies. “Other parties will be questioned as they failed to fulfill pre-poll promises. Their leaders should be questioned in a respectable language,” added Jagmohan.
Leaders of the Kirti Kisan Union, whose activists were among those opposing Sukhbir in Moga, said the farmers hold protests only when they are not allowed to ask questions from political leaders.
Bhupinder Longowal, state committee member of the union, said, “We are following the directions of the SKM and are questioning the SAD, Congress and AAP leaders whenever they are holding political functions. It is the SKM’s call to oppose political rallies and ask questions from politicians. We reach the rally venues to question the politicians but they refuse to answer.”
SAD spokesman Winnerjit Singh Khadial said, “A delegation of farmers may question a leader but how can it be done when there are over 1,000 people. Our party never escapes any discussion.”