No split, united we stand: Farm leaders - ECAS Punjab

No split, united we stand: Farm leaders

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Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13

As they weigh their options after an apparent hardening of stand by the Centre, farmer unions have said they will continue to stand united in their struggle to get the three farm laws repealed and force the Central Government to withdraw the amendments to the Electricity Act and the environment laws that seek to heavily penalise farmers.

"There will be attempts to defame us and derail our movement, but we are prepared to tackle them and stand together for our cause," says Balbir Singh Rajewal, president, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal).


Jagmohan Singh Patiala, BKU leader

In constant touch

We are constantly in touch and all Punjab-based leaders realise that the battle can be won only if we remain united.


Fearing that renewed efforts will be made to break their unity, the leaders say that theirs is an issue-based unity for a common threat in "Punjab's agrarian economy". "We are constantly in touch and all Punjab-based leaders realise that the battle can be won, only if we remain united.

We are fighting not just for revocation of the three farm laws, but also for ensuring that farmers are neither labelled adversely nor divided on the basis of caste and religion," says Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary, BKU (Dakaunda) and member of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

These leaders say earlier they fought the propaganda of being labelled separatists and their protest being communalised, they are now trying to ensure that the personal ideologies of each union is not highlighted.

"While the Kirti Kisan Union has been advocating that the free power subsidy given to farmers in Punjab be restricted only to those farmers having less than 10 acres of land, it is an independent demand of our union and we are not using this stage to raise it," says Rajinder Singh Deepsinghwala, vice-president of the union, who is also the youngest farmer leader in the protest.

It is for this reason that the observation of International Human Rights Day by BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) near Tikri, where the issue of Left ideology leaders and intellectuals having been incarcerated was raised, did not find resonance amongst other farmer unions.

Buta Singh Burjgill, president, BKU (Dakaunda), says all other farmer unions have had to now clarify that this was an individual function of BKU (Ugrahan). "It is a big issue of human rights, but the farmers protest is only against the three farm laws," he said.

from The Tribune

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