In Punjab’s farm agitation hub, Sanyukt Samaj Morcha runs low-key campaign - Hindustan Times
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In Punjab’s farm agitation hub, Sanyukt Samaj Morcha runs low-key campaign

By, Sangrur/barnala
Feb 10, 2022 02:40 AM IST

Candidates of Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, a group of farmer unions, mainly carrying a door-to door campaign in villages, addressing small gatherings

In Sangrur and Barnala districts, which remained a hub of the year-long agitation in Punjab against the Centre’s now repealed three agriculture laws, the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), a faction of farmer unions in the electoral fray, is running a low-key campaign even as key political parties have intensified their poll effort.

Sanyukt Samaj Morcha leaders launching their manifesto for the Punjab assembly elections in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Sanyukt Samaj Morcha leaders launching their manifesto for the Punjab assembly elections in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

The party candidates are primarily carrying a door-to door campaign in villages, addressing small gatherings of 10 to 50 people.

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On the other hand, major farmer outfits like the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) have asked their cadres to vote for any political party of their choice. Many villagers, who participated in the anti-farm law protests, are supporting parties like the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), it is learnt.

Gursewak Singh (34), a farm activist from Barnala district’s Rajia village, said, “Our union leadership has not asked us to vote for either SSM candidates or others. But we will vote for a change.”

Rajwinder Singh of Kotduna village said that the farmer unions played a pivotal role in saving the peasantry but people will vote independently. “The SSM candidate from the Bhadaur segment refused to contest the elections. Now, they have fielded a new contestant but not many people even know his name,” he added.

Avtar Singh Taari, a sugarcane cultivator from Bhullar Heri village of Dhuri segment, said he will support the morcha candidate Sarabjit Singh Alal. “If we do not support Alal, people will leave fighting for a common cause in future. Alal has been agitating for farmer rights for many years,” he added.

AS Mann, the SSM candidate from Sunam, said that he along with his supporters visit villages and address gatherings at one place. “We carry literature and pamphlets. Former Patiala MP Dr Dharamvir Gandhi and farmer activist Swaiman Singh will also campaign for me,” added Mann.

Barnala SSM candidate Abhikaran Singh said that people from all walks of life are extending support to him in the segment. “All the three main parties betrayed the voters. Nearly 700 farmers sacrificed their lives during the agitation and people have not forgotten it. We will give ensure good education and health services besides minimum support price (MSP) on crops if voted to power,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Avtar Singh is a staff correspondent who covers politics, agriculture, crime and rural areas in Sangrur, Barnala and Malerkotla districts of Punjab.

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