22 farmer unions of the 32 Punjab-based farmer unions that were at the forefront of the agitation against the now-repealed farm laws announced on Saturday that they would contest the election under the banner of ‘Samyukt Samaj Morcha,’ even though the umbrella body Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which spearheaded the protests, stated that they would not be contesting the polls.
Several unions, which had banded together to protest the three laws, arrived at differing conclusions about whether or not to fight the election.
Bharatiya Kisan Union
Balbir Singh Rajewal of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU (Rajewal)) is at the helm of the new political front, which has indicated it will run for all 117 Assembly seats. People in Punjab are banking high hopes on farmers to fix long-pending issues that have plagued the state, according to Harmeet Singh of the BKU(Kadiyan).
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) (BKU(E-U), one of Punjab’s major organisations, and the Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee (KMSC), a key outfit at the forefront of the protest, have both stated that they will not be running in the election. Both were not members of the 32 unions, yet they collaborated with them to get the farm laws repealed.
The Kisan Disagreement
“We were only with the other outfits because of the movement, not because of the elections.” If the decision of these [22 unions] to fight the election causes any harm to our farmers’ struggle, they will be held directly responsible. The Hindu quoted BKU (E-U) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Korikalan as saying, “These unions have made their own decision, but we do not agree with it.”
Members of the SKM’s coordination committee, Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Darshan Pal, stated a platform of more than 400 distinct ideological organisations from throughout the country has been developed to address issues affecting farmers.