Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, a major face in the ongoing farmers’ agitation, fuelled fire into Punjab’s political scene by vouching for farmer unions to give up their apolitical stance and enter electoral politics in Punjab.
In a video message, the farmer leader asked if merely defeating the BJP government will serve farmers’ interests. He pointed out that before Mission UP, farmers should launch a Mission Punjab and capture political power so as to present a successful model of governance before the country so that other States can follow suit.
Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leader Dr Darshanpal, however, said that there was no intention of entering electoral politics by farmer leaders and that the same was never even discussed at the meetings of the core committee nor was it ever on the agenda. It can be his personal views, he claimed.
Reacting to this, Punjab BJP leader Harjeet Grewal said his earlier stand that the farmers’ real agenda was power behind the agitation stands vindicated. He said the statement by Chaduni is to test the waters and see how people react before a formal announcement.
Chaduni said that farmers have been sitting on dharna at the Delhi borders for seven months and even after defeating the BJP in Bengal, farmers’ issues have not been resolved. Similarly, even after routing the BJP in Uttar Pradesh polls, nothing will happen, he said.
Going by his 29 years of experience in farmers agitations, he said, “In Haryana, we agitated against Bhajan Lal and threw him out of power but when Bansilal did not relent, we fought with him also. But his successor Chautala took advantage of it when in power, he is responsible for firing on seven farmers. But Hooda took advantage of it. In sum, farmers issues were never resolved by successive governments since we remained apolitical.”
“If we defeat BJP in UP, and we will, will our issues get resolved,” he questioned. “I feel we have a negative approach when we say that we want to rout this government or that and I feel we should think constructively and build an exemplary model of governance for the country to follow.”
“We have 65% of electoral strength and show the country how government should be run. Present candidates cannot do anything because they are slaves of the respective parties which give them tickets and are not committed on issues,” Chaduni said.