In a decision that will have a major impact on next year’s Punjab Assembly elections, 25 farmers’ unions – part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which led the movement against the three family laws – decided to jump into the polls. The union is likely to forge an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
This decision was taken in a meeting held near Ludhiana late on Friday evening. Sources said that out of the 32 unions that make up the SKM, 7 have decided to abstain from the polls, but the remaining 25 have decided to enter politics.
Farmers’ organizations that have decided to stay away from politics include Kirti Kisan Sangh, Krantikari Kisan Sangh, BKU Krantikari, Doaba Sangharsh Samiti, BKU Sidhupur, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and Jai Kisan Andolan.
During the meeting, it was learned that the seven unions, which had decided to abstain from contesting the elections, requested the remaining unions not to use the SKM banner for this. Sources said 25 unions are expected to formally announce the decision on Saturday.
Reliable sources also said that around a dozen unions were in favor of an alliance with the AAP. Farmer leaders said that since AAP has not been given a chance to come to power in the state yet and the recent support among farmers and AAP leaders during the agitation, the reason for giving preference to the party.
There was already speculation about Sangh leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal and Harmeet Singh Kadian contesting on AAP ticket, with the former projecting as the CM face. However, both have denied these speculations.