Don’t hold rallies till polls are declared: SKM to Punjab parties
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a joint forum of 32 farm organisations leading the protest against three controversial central laws, on Friday asked political parties in Punjab to not hold election rallies as it adversely impacted the campaign by cultivators, suggesting that poll speeches should start only after the elections are announced in early 2022.
However, three key political parties, Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), disagreed with the proposal.
“They will face the music if they refuse to accept our appeal and it will be considered as anti-farmer,” announced BS Rajewal president of a faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not called for the meeting.
“I think a gathering of up to 300 persons is fine for an event by a political party or the government,” he said, adding that in case Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh holds public rallies, he would also face opposition. The announcement was made after one-to-one meetings with the leaders of the political parties.
After disruption of its rally in Moga last week by farmers, SAD approached SKM for talks. The latter, then, decided to hold meetings with all the parties.
“SKM should retain the national character of the Kisan Andolan by not imposing restrictions on political activities ,” suggested SAD’s Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhundar. Former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema and Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal were part of the Akali Dal delegation.
“We appeal to the SKM to reconsider its decision,” said AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan. MLAs Baljinder Kaur and Aman Aroa and former NRI wing convener Jagtar Singh Sanghera accompanied him for talks.
SKM also asked the Congress government to withdraw cases against farmers and not force them to submit land record for the procurement of food grains from the upcoming crop of paddy, starting from October 1. State party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu assured them that he will take it up with the government. Working president Kuljit Singh Nagra and general secretary Pargat Singh were also part of Congress team.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and ex-MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura also met the farm leaders.