Chandigarh, Jan 15: As the farmer's movement became political in 2020. It’s primary objective was defeating BJP in Punjab, Haryana and Western UP. The strongest position this movement holds is in Punjab. A maximum number of Punjab based farmers joined the year long protests. But now, when push comes to shove, we are seeing cracks in this movement.
As many farmer groups and organizations decided to contest the upcoming assembly election, they wanted to form a grand alliance of farmer organizations to consolidate votes. That dream now seems distant.
The alliance talks between Gurnam Singh Chaduni’s Samyukt Sangharsh Party (SSP) and Balbir Singh Rajewal’s political outfit Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) for the Punjab Assembly election seem headed for collapse over sharing seats. Chaduni, who had demanded 25 seats for his outfit, claims the SSM is offering only nine his outfit and all other farmers and workers’ outfits associated with it.
“They are offering us only nine seats. I asked Rajewal ji to give us at least 25 seats. Either they give us our due share, or we will be forced to field our candidates separately,” said Chaduni.
The SSM had earlier formed a committee for deciding on the seat-sharing arrangement with the SSP.On January 9, Chaduni had held talks with the SSM for the poll pact and after that, he stopped the scheduled announcement of his party’s 10 candidates for the February 14 polls.
In a video message, Chaduni, who is the chief of the Haryana unit of BKU, said he had demanded 25 seats but SSM, starting with five seats, sought to offer only nine seats to all outfits associated with SSP, which include Sanjha Sunehra Punjab, Punjab Kisan Dal, United Republic Party, Taxi union Punjab and Bharti Republic Party.
Chaduni said: “We have been preparing for the polls for the past six months. We have candidates for 40-50 seats. They (Rajewal faction) have been ignoring (us) since the formation of SSM while we want to contest the elections unitedly.”