Chandīgarh: A group of 22 farmers’ unions who banded together under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha banner last year to protest the Center’s three farm laws, have come together to form a political party that would contest the 2022 elections in the Punjab Assembly.
The party was named Samyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM). A decision in this regard was taken by the representatives of these organizations in Chandigarh earlier today.
A new ‘Samyukta Samaj Morcha’ is formed to contest the Punjab Assembly elections. 22 unions took this decision. We need to change the system and want to appeal to people to support this morcha: Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal in Chandigarh pic.twitter.com/VK3ctiVKvk
— ANI (@ANI) December 25, 2021
Speaking to reporters here, Farmer Leader Harmeet Singh Kadian said the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha was set up to fight assembly polls in Punjab due early next year.
These 22 agricultural organizations were among the 32 farmer organizations in Punjab that took part in the more than a year-long protest against the three central agricultural laws.
SKM will not run in Punjab elections 2022
News of the farmers’ protest taking a political turn comes just hours after Samyukt Kisan Morcha ruled out running for office in Punjab.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the apex body of farmers’ unions that led the protest against the Farm Bills, said on Saturday that it would not stand in the 2022 elections in Punjab and that no person or organization should use its name, or that of its member groups, for electoral purposes.
“The SKM – which is a platform of more than 400 different ideological organizations across the country, is formed solely for farmers’ issues. There is no call for boycotting the elections and even no understanding of protesting the elections…” a statement said. quoted by NDTV in its report.
The farmers’ association said it was founded “by the people to assert their rights with the government” and the effort was suspended when the Farm Laws were repealed.
Agitation of Farm Bills
The farm law, which was approved in September last year, sparked national outrage.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, said last month that the three laws would be repealed, just three months before the UP and Punjab elections.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (as well as Haryana and Rajasthan) have been camping on the Delhi border since last November as part of the protest. The BJP, which is in power federally and in Uttar Pradesh and is trying to unseat the Punjab Congress, has received widespread opposition from people in both states.