22 farm unions float political party Samyukt Samaj Morcha to contest Punjab polls, SKM doesn't approve
Around 22 unions of farmers that were part of Samyukt Kisan Morcha which helmed the year-long protest against the three contentious farm bills have come together to float a political unit Samyukt Samaj Morcha to take party in Punjab assembly elections. The political front of the farmers in Punjab will be led by Balbir Singh Rajewal. Samyukt Kisan Morcha, however, clarified its stance on this and, distancing itself from the political outfit, said the name of SKM should not be used in the election campaign.
Three farm bodies including BKU (Dakounda) and BKU (Lakhowal) will decide shortly whether to join the party. The new party will be contesting from all 117 seats, farmer leaders confirmed on Saturday.
Rajewal said he was under tremendous pressure from the people of Punjab to contest the polls after the three contentious farm laws were withdrawn in a victory of the farmers. Punjab is facing a lot of problems such as drugs, unemployment and the migration of youth from the state which they want to address.
The farm laws, the year-long protest against them and finally teh withdrawal of those laws in an announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the stage for the Assembly election in Punjab. Farmers' unions in their major decision to contest this crucial election may seek an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, it is being speculated. Any such alliance will be announced later, the farmer leaders said.
Many farm unions, which were part of SKM, the umbrella organisation, decided to stay away from electoral politics. Kirti Kisan Union, Krantikari Kisan Union, BKU-Krantikari, Doaba Sangharsh Committee, BKU-Sidhupur, Kisan Sangharsh Committee and Jai Kisan Andolan are against joining the fray.
The SKM said its main objective was to push for the withdrawal of the farm laws. Gurnam Singh Chaduni, a member of SKM's core committee, has also floated a political outfit, Samyukta Sangharsh Party, which will contest in the assembly elections.