Farmers to observe 'Day of Betrayal' on 31 Jan against governments' failure to fulfill demands, says SKM

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait will visit Lakhimpur Kheri for three days from 21 January to press their demand for the sacking of Union minister Ajay Mishra whose son is accused of mowing down protesting farmers last year

Press Trust of India January 16, 2022 08:20:56 IST
Farmers to observe 'Day of Betrayal' on 31 Jan against governments' failure to fulfill demands, says SKM

File image of Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait. ANI

New Delhi: The farmer unions contesting the Punjab Assembly polls will no longer be part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body that spearheaded the agitation against the now-repealed agriculture laws said on Saturday.

The SKM also gave a call for observing a nationwide "Day of Betrayal" on 31 January against what it called the government's reneging on its assurances to the farmers on their demands, including legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) of crops.

SKM leaders in a press conference after their meeting at Kondli on the Singhu border also said that BKU leader Rakesh Tikait will visit Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh for three days from 21 January to press their demand for the sacking of Union Minister Ajay Mishra whose son is accused of mowing down protesting farmers last year.

"Tikait will meet victims, jailed farmers and officials. If there is no progress, a siege may be laid in Lakhimpur by farmer organisations," said SKM leader Yudhvir Singh.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha will put up a permanent morcha against the "brazenness and insensitivity of the BJP in the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre case," the outfit said in its statement.

The SKM spearheaded over-a-year-long protest against the farm laws at Delhi borders till December 2021.

Singh also said that the SKM does not agree with farmer organisations participating in the election in Punjab and they will not be part of it.

"Those organisations taking part in polls are not part of SKM. We will decide about our relation with them in a meeting of SKM in April," he said.

SKM leader Joginder Singh Ugrhan said, "SKM has nothing to do with them."

Two prominent leaders of the SKM Gurnam Singh Chadhuni and Balbir Singh Rajewal have joined the fray in Punjab. Chaduni has formed his own political party. The Punjab unit of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has formed the Samyukt Samaj Morcha to contest the Punjab assembly elections scheduled for 14 February.

The Samyukt Samaj Morcha comprising several farmer organisation has announced contesting the election under the leadership of Balbir Singh Rajewal. The name of Samyukta Kisan Morcha will not be used in the election.

Farmers' organisations and leaders participating in the elections are not with the SKM, according to the statement.

"Regarding the announcement of some constituent organisations to field candidates by forming parties in Punjab elections, SKM clarified that from the very beginning, it has has made it a limitation that no political party can use its name, banner or platform.

"The same rule applies in elections as well. The name or banner or platform of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will not be used by any party or candidate in the election. Any farmer organisation or leader associated with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, contesting elections, or who plays a key role for any party in the election, will not remain in the Samyukta Kisan Morcha," it said.

The SKM expressed its "dismay and anger" that the government of India has not fulfilled any of the promises made in its letter on 9 December on the basis of which it decided to withdraw the protests at Delhi borders.

"No action has been taken by the Union government, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal governments on the promise of immediate withdrawal of the cases during the agitation. The Haryana government has done some paperwork only," it said.

The rest of the state governments have not even received a letter from the Union government. The Uttar Pradesh government has not initiated any action on giving compensation to the families of the farmers killed during the protest, it said.

No announcement has been made by the Haryana government regarding the amount and nature of compensation, said the statement.

"On the issue of MSP, the government has neither announced the formation of the committee, nor has given any information about the nature of the committee and its mandate," it said.

The SKM also extended its support to the nationwide strike called by trade unions on 23-24 January, saying it will join through rural strike.

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