In a decision that could have a major impact on the Punjab assembly elections due next year, 25 farmer unions – which were part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) that spearheaded the agitation against the three fam laws – have decided to jump into the poll fray. The unions are likely to forge an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The decision was taken at a meeting held near Ludhiana late Friday evening. Sources said 7 of the 32 unions – which formed the SKM – have decided to stay away from the polls, but the remaining 25 decided to take a plunge into politics.
The farmer organisations that have decided to stay away from politics are Kirti Kisan Union, Krantikari Kisan Union, BKU Krantikari, Doaba Sangharsh Committee, BKU Sidhupur, Kisan Sangharsh Committee and Jai Kisan Andolan.
During the meeting, it was learnt that the seven unions that decided to stay away from contesting the elections requested the remaining unions not to use the banner of SKM for the same. Sources said that the 25 unions are expected to formally announce the decision on Saturday.
Reliable sources also said that about a dozen of the unions were in favour of an alliance with the AAP. Farmer leaders said that since AAP had not been given a chance at power yet in the state and also the recent bonhomie between the farmers and the AAP leaders over the latter’s support during the agitation was being cited as a reason for showing preference to the party.
There have already been speculations of union leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal and Harmeet Singh Kadian contesting the poll on AAP tickets with the former being propped up as CM face. Both have, however, denied these speculations.
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