BHARTIYA KISAN Union (BKU Ugrahan) and Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU) are slated to organise a joint ‘Farmer-Labourer Unity Rally’ in the grain market of Barnala on February 21.
The announcement was made by BKU (Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan and PKMU general secretary Lachman Singh Sewewala Saturday afternoon, adding that the turnout is expected to reach nearly two lakh. Meanwhile, BKU Ugrahan leaders said that they have sent invitation letters to leaders of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to address this rally as well.
The ‘Kisan-Mazdoor Ekta Maha Rally’ is expected to be another massive gathering in Punjab after February 11’s ‘mahapanchayat’ organised by SKM at Jagraon’s grain market. It will be yet another show of unity for all the farmer unions of Punjab as even at Jagraon, SKM’s 30 unions and BKU Ugrahan were on a common platform.
Three other unions of Punjab — BKU Krantikari and Azad Kisan Committee (Doaba) and Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC) were not part of the ‘mahapanchayat’. Reason: The first two unions, which were earlier part of SKM, were suspended by the Morcha on January 29 after their leaders were accused moving towards outer ring road on Republic Day. SKM had already alleged that KMSC played a key role in breaking away from the planned route, and hence had caused harm to the ongoing struggle.
BKU Ugrahan had also blamed KMSC for not following the route, but despite that, had continuously extended support to KMSC and is organising joint press conferences with KMSC at Delhi borders as well. BKU Ugrahan General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan however said, ”Our maha rally will be organised by us and SKM leaders have been invited. As KMSC is not part of SKM, they will not be part of the February 21 rally.”
Kokrikalan said the rally will be unique in two aspects — on one hand it will be a milestone to enhance the unity between struggling farmer unions, on the other hand it will expand the magnitude of this struggle and will showcase the unity between farmers and labourers, ensuring participation of organised agricultural labourers.
Along with the demand to repeal the ‘black laws’ and other farmers’ demands, this rally will specially deal with the impact of these laws on landless farmers and agricultural labourers. “This rally will expose the moves used by BJP government to fail this struggle,” he said.
Sewewala said, “We will also address the issues of farmers being labelled as Khalistanis. It hurts us the most. It is a non-religious and non-party struggle. Our focus is on repealing laws and we will also explain at length how the government is doing clever presentations of amendments,” said Jhanda Singh Jethuke, senior state vice-president, BKU ( Ugrahan).
Zora Singh Nasrali, state president of PKMU, said both of the organisations are making all efforts to make this rally a show of strength of Punjab, in the nationwide movement of Samyukta Kisan Morcha.