The Punjab Farmers Political Front will be led by Balbir Singh Rajewal. Three agricultural bodies including BKU (Dakounda) and BKU (Lakhowal) will soon decide to join the party.
About 22 farmers’ unions that were part of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which led the year-long protest against the three controversial farm bills, came together to launch a political unit Samyukt Samaj Morcha to contest elections in the Punjab Assembly. The Punjab Farmers Political Front will be led by Balbir Singh Rajewal. Samyukt Kisan Morcha, however, clarified his position on this and, distancing himself from the political group, said that the SKM name should not be used in the election campaign.
Three agricultural bodies including BKU (Dakounda) and BKU (Lakhowal) will soon decide to join the party. The new party will contest the 117 seats, farmer leaders confirmed on Saturday.
Rajewal said he was under huge pressure from the people of Punjab to contest the election after three contentious farm bills were withdrawn in a farmers’ victory. Punjab faces many problems such as drugs, unemployment and youth migration from the state which they want to tackle.
The Farm Bills, the year-long protest against them and finally the withdrawal of these laws in an announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the stage for the Assembly election in Punjab. Farmers’ unions, in their major move to contest this crucial election, may seek an alliance with the Aam Aadmi party, it is speculated. Any such alliance will be announced later, the farm leaders said.
Many agricultural unions, which were part of the SKM, the umbrella organization, 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 melee membership.
The SKM said its main objective was to push for the withdrawal of the Farm Bills. Gurnam Singh Chaduni, member of the central committee of the SKM, has also launched a political formation, Samyukta Sangharsh Party, which will take part in the elections to the Assembly.