Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Friday told all political parties that early campaigning for the upcoming Assembly election in Punjab would be considered anti-farmer, as it could divert the attention from their agitation. The farmer fiat came during a meeting with the representatives of all the parties, except the BJP. While most parties agreed, the SAD and the Congress said they would get back to the SKM after discussing the issue with their leaders.
After one-on-one meeting with the representatives of all the political parties here, farmers’ leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal and Harinder Singh Lakhowal said: “There is lot of time for electioneering. So, now stop the campaigning and wait till the dates are declared by the Election Commission of India, after which you can campaign.”
Issuing the fiat, Lakhowal said: “They can attend social functions in villages, but no political function or rally is allowed. The government can organise small functions to distribute cheques for developmental works with a ceiling of 50-100 in attendance, but no big gathering.”
Stating that the parties should withdraw cases against farmers wherever they are in power, the SKM also put forth a charter of demands, which included bar on seeking land records for direct benefit transfer, sending MPs and MLAs to Delhi to stage protests, among others.
During the discussions, the SAD representative urged the SKM to retain the national character of the farmers’ agitation by not imposing any restrictions on political activities in Punjab, even as it offered all help to buttress the ongoing agitation on the borders of Delhi.
Senior SAD leaders Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra and Maheshinder Singh Grewal said: “A conspiracy has been hatched by the Centre to restrict the Kisan movement to Punjab and then suppress it.”