Samrala won’t be a cakewalk for farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal
Farmer leader and Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) chief Balbir Singh Rajewal, who was being projected as the party’s chief minister’s (CM) choice, is facing stiff resistance in his home turf Samrala
Farmer leader and Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) chief Balbir Singh Rajewal, who was being projected as the party’s chief minister’s (CM) choice, is facing stiff resistance in his home turf Samrala.
Besides, fronting a multi-cornered contest with the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and sitting MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon, Rajewal is also dealing with firm opposition from farmers and farmer union.
Karam Singh, a resident of Otalan village falling in the Samrala constituency, feels that instead of being a pressure group, Rajewal has made the Kisan union a political group which has damaged the reputation of the farming community.
Gurtej Singh of Manjali Kalan village said the SSM was expecting a repeat of Kisan protest-like support. “But back here every farmer family is having their loyalties with respective political parties,” said Gurtaj.
Residents of Rupalon village said that the move of floating a party was a knee-jerk reaction.
“The SSM has no cadre base. Moreover, they have no party symbol. Floating a party merely a month before elections show that Rajewal and his fellow contestants just want to create a dent in the vote bank which could affect the results,” said Gurpreet Singh, member, Naujavan Sabha, Rupalon village.
Right after opening the party office in the main market of Samrala, Rajewal said, “Yes, we have started late. Though we are new and do not have a cadre base, we enjoy the support among the people.”
He accused the AAP of spreading a rumour that SSM’s registration had been cancelled.
When asked about the criticism from the farming community, Rajewal said, “We have decided to jump into politics to cleanse the system. Politicians are filling their coffers and distributing drugs and liquor during the elections. All this needs to end.”
Rajewal enjoys the backing of the strong lobby of arhtiya of Samrala Mandi. However, the villages neighbouring the town are considered to be the stronghold of Jagjit Singh Dallewal-led Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur).
It is no secret in the constituency that Rajewal and Dallewal are considered to be strong opponents. Political parties are also exploiting the differences between farmer leaders to their advantage.
According to BKU Ekta Sidhupur leader Gurdeep Singh, who is also the adviser of Dallewal, strict instructions have been issued to workers to stay away from any party activity. “We have maintained that Kisan unions will remain a pressure group and will not jump into politics. Though some unions led by Rajewal have decided against it. So, we have asked our volunteers not to work even as poll agents for any party in the assembly elections,” said Gurdeep.
Samrala: Total Votes: 1,73,207