June 24, 2022

Punjab polls: ECI accepts ‘Sanyukt Samaj Morcha’ as political party name but with runners

The title “Sanyukt Samaj Morcha” was proposed by 19 peasant organizations last month to contest the Punjab elections

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has approved peasant leader Balbir Singh Rajewal, led by “Sanyukt Samaj Morcha”, as the name of a political party subject to fulfilling other formal registration criteria.

The title “Sanyukt Samaj Morcha” was put forward by 19 farmers’ organizations last month to contest the Punjab assembly elections scheduled for February 20.

In a communication, the ECI states: “The commission after examination has authorized the name Sanyukt Samaj Morcha proposed by you for the publication of a public notice in the newspapers. Final name approval will be subject to a decision on any objections that may be filed by the parties or others in response to the public notice posted by you.

The ECI asked the SSM to declare itself through public announcements on the proposed political party and seek objections within a month.

The head of the SSM parliamentary council, Prem Singh Bhangu, said they hoped to make the group a recognized political party. “It will be better if permissions are granted before the polls and a common symbol is also assigned,” he added.

The 19 farmers’ unions headed by Rajewal had announced on December 25 last year the formation of the organization and subsequently applied for registration with the ECI. But on January 13, the EC had raised some objections to its registration.

With February 1 being the deadline for submitting nominations, all 107 SSM candidates filed their documents as independents, giving the common option of “bed”, “potty” and “scissors” as ballot symbols.

The SSM participates in the polls in alliance with the Sanyukt Sangarsh party which is in the running with 10 seats.

Bhangu added that they would try to register the party before the polls or at least get a common symbol assigned from the given choices.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is a special correspondent in the Punjab office. It covers agriculture, the energy sector, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.
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