Punjab’s largest agricultural union, BKU (Ugrahan), said on Monday that it would not support any political party in the upcoming assembly polls. The farmer group that has a large base in Punjab’s Malwa belt has also made it clear that it will not oppose anyone in the elections, which could prove to be an advantage for farm leaders embarking on the campaign. electoral battle.
As the farmers’ unrest unfolded against three contentious farm laws, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) in July 2021 suspended senior agricultural leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni from the morcha for a week. This time, SKM was not happy with Chaduni for his statements in which he had suggested that farmer heads should challenge the Punjab’s polls. However, BKU (Ugrahan) Chairman Jogidner Singh Ugrahan said today: “At that time, the unrest was going on and participation in the election or the announcement was banned. That is why this action was taken. But the SSM formed after the agitation subsided.
Two political groups formed by the peasant leaders – the Samyukt Sangharsh Party (SSP) of Chaduni and the Samyukta Samaj Morcha (SSM) of Balbir Singh Rajewal – began talks on Sunday for a possible alliance for the next elections. Both have been prominent leaders of the SKM – which has propagated a protracted agitation against three contentious farm laws which are now repealed – such as Ugrahan.
Asked about their position on supporting the political groups formed by the peasant leaders, Ugrahan said: “Neither we will support them nor anyone else. We will not participate in the elections (to support anyone or candidates on the ground).
Ugrahan also claimed that the heads of farmers participating in the polls “will be back to them”, adding “that they have gone for a visit (experience). He said: “What kind of relationship to have with the SSM formed by 22 farmer groups, these things will also be finalized at the next SKM meeting on January 15.” Ugrahan also hinted that they would consider (positively) if the 22 farmer groups who formed the SSM separate their political group from their unions.
Explaining his perspective on participating in the political battle, Ugrahan said, “Different people have chosen different ways to improve the system. Someone thinks that the system can be improved by being part of it. On the other hand, someone else thinks the system is too big, so how to take the initiative for the same. The latter thinks that the people must be informed so that they know who their enemy is. How does the looting take place and who is engaged in the looting? How policies are framed. This is important to know first to avoid falling into the web of the system.
Referring to past experiences, Ugrahan said, “Several others also had such dreams earlier, such as Bhupinder Singh Mann. He remained a member of the Rajya Sabha. He thought he could improve the system by raising his voice. Lakhowal sahab had also formed the Lokhit party. He also thought he would improve the system by running for office. He later remained chairman of the market committee for 15 years. But he couldn’t make an improvement. It is the misconception of our comrades that the system can be improved by entering into it. They can try. “