BKU thanks Punjab CM Channi for support, but says won't share stage with political parties

By PTI

GHAZIABAD: The Bharatiya Kisan Union has welcomed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s support to the farmers’ stir but maintained that their stage will not be shared with any political party.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) also refuted allegations that their protest against the Centre’s farm laws is being funded by opposition parties.

“First and foremost, this is not a protest run by any political party or the opposition. It is a farmers’ movement against the three new anti-farmer laws brought by the BJP-led government,” Saurabh Upadhyay, a BKU spokesperson said.

“There is no doubt that the current opposition is weak. We thank the new Punjab chief minister for supporting the protest. However, we are not going to share our stage with any political party,” Upadhyay said.

Soon after his swearing-in as the Punjab CM, Channi, who replaced Amarinder Singh after a power tussle within the Congress Party, had on Monday extended support to the stir.

The BKU, whose members and supporters led by national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait are encamped at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border since late November also refuted allegations of its agitation being funded by opposition parties.

“If the Congress had funded the protest, then why had former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asked farmers to go to Delhi instead of pitching tents in his state.

He had said that the protests were hurting Punjab,” Upadhyay argued.

“Our protest is being organised in every state irrespective of political party affiliations. We have staged demonstrations in UP, Delhi and even in Congress-ruled Rajasthan,” he said.

The farmers’ stir on the three Delhi border points of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur will be completing 10 months on Sunday.

On the future course of action, Upadhyay said the movement is being led by the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and the BKU has been an integral part of it.

“A Bharat Bandh has been called on September 27. The top priority is to ensure the success of this bandh. After this, the SKM will take a call on the future course of action for the protest. The BKU will continue its fight for the farmers,” he added.

Hundreds of farmers encamped at the three border sites of Delhi are demanding that the three contentious farm laws be repealed and a legal guarantee provided to them on minimum support price for crops.

Tikait has been leading the protest at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.

The Centre, which has held 11 rounds of formal dialogue with the farmers, has maintained that the new laws are pro-farmer.