Meanwhile, 32 major farmer organisations of Punjab, flush with success at getting the three farm laws repealed, met at Mullanpur Dakha on Saturday to discuss forming a political front to contest upcoming Punjab elections but failed to arrive at a conclusion.
Options like forming a pressure group instead of a political party were also tossed about and the issue will be taken up again at the next meeting, some attendees said. The main point on which the majority of farm leaders did agree was that a final decision should be taken up with unanimity to ensure there was no room for bickering later. “The matter of a farmers’ political front will be discussed again threadbare in the next meeting and a collective decision will be taken,” farm union chiefs Buta Singh Burjgill and Ruldu Singh Mansa.
Addressing reporters, Charuni said there was a need for change in the country. “The (traditional) parties have made politics a business and money to power and power to money (sic), and are repeating it. On the hunger index, our country is ranked 102 among 107 countries. According to a 2014 report, over 45% of children are suffering from malnutrition,” said Charuni.
“Politics has become polluted and corrupt. The country is being captured by the capitalists. To bring a change in that politics, due to which the country is suffering from hunger and (medical) treatment has become out of reach for the common person, we have launched Sanyukt Sangharsh Party. Today, our policies are not made by the Angrez (British) but by policymakers of our country who have promoted capitalists and didn’t make policies for the common people. The motive of our party will be to cleanse politics by bringing forward good people and sidelining corrupt leaders who are looting the country,” said Charuni.
Charuni said, “Our party (SSP) will be secular and caste-neutral. Our party will work for the needs of society. We are moving ahead to save the country,” Charuni said. He announced that his party will contest the 2022 Punjab assembly elections, adding that it has been registered with the Election Commission of India.
In other decisions, the farm groups confirmed they would attend the meeting to be called by Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi to raise pending demands. They intend to push for a debt waiver, ensuring sugarcane growers get the promised rate of Rs 360 per quintal, compensation for farmers whose cotton crop has been damaged by the pink bollworm, withdrawal of cases registered against farmers during the protests, supply of urea and proper compensation for land acquisitions for upcoming expressways in the state. The farm bodies decided by voice vote that only those toll plazas that promise not to increase charges would be allowed to resume operations.