Unions meet to resolve differences, slam Punjab govt over panchayat land drive

Ludhiana, May 28

To strengthen the Samuykt Kisan Morcha (SKM) and intensify the farmers’ movement, members of 23 farm organisations met here today. Discussions were held on resolving issues between various unions that led to the formation of political outfit Samuykt Samaj Morcha (SSM) that contested the recent Assembly elections.

Stop targeting farmers

The government must stop its drive to take possession of land under occupation of farmers. If the drive continues, we will oppose it. Jagjit Singh Dallewal, BKU (Sidhupur)

The meeting, headed by seven members of the SKM national-level committee, discussed strategy for the upcoming all-India meeting in Delhi on June 8.

They discussed the farmers’ demand for law guaranteeing MSP, justice for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incidents and the situation of farmers in Punjab. SKM leaders Rakesh Tikait, Dr Darshan Pal and other senior leaders were among those present.

The members shared views on resolving the issues between the SKM and SSM. Differences had cropped up after the SSM decided to contest the Assembly elections in Punjab. Tikait said the meeting was held in a bid to strengthen the SKM and spread the farmers’ movement in the country. He said the government should introduce law guaranteeing MSP. He also asked the government to quash FIRs against farmers. He said farm organisations should not have contested the elections.

Dr Darshan Pal said farmers needed to come together to strengthen the movement at the national level.

Jagjit Singh Dallewal of the BKU Sidhupur said views were taken by the committee members on resolving differences and a decision would be taken in this regard later.

At another meeting, the farmers criticised the government drive to free panchayat land under “illegal” occupation of farmers. Dallewal said they had had met CM Bhagwant Mann earlier this month and the government had assured them of acting only against influential persons and not against farmers who had been growing crops on such lands for sustenance. But, the government was targeting marginal farmers too, he claimed.

He said the government had earlier announced a committee to identify land to be vacated, but nothing had been done in this regard.

Unions meet to resolve differences, slam Punjab govt over panchayat land drive