Samyukta Kisan Morcha suspends Haryana farmer leader Chaduni for a week over remarks on Punjab polls

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Chandigarh, Jul 14 (PTI) The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday suspended Haryana BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni for seven days for suggesting that Punjab farmer outfits involved in the stir against the Centre's three farm laws should contest the state assembly polls next year.

The SKM, which is an umbrella body of various farmer unions protesting the Centre's farm laws, also said that it will go ahead with its planned protests in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where assembly elections are due to be held in 2022.

Addressing a press conference near the Singhu border protest site, senior SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said Chaduni is making statements regarding 'Mission Punjab' despite being told not to do so on several occasions.

“At present, we are fighting (against the Centre's farm laws). We are not doing any politics,” said Rajewal.

“For this, today we decided to suspend him for seven days. He will not be able to issue any statement or share stage. These restrictions have been imposed on him,” said Rajewal, who is also the president of the BKU (Rajewal).

Chaduni, however, stuck to his statement and said that suspending him for mooting an idea was wrong.

At the same time, the farmer leader said he will abide by the SKM's decision and continue to play a key role in the ongoing stir against farm laws.

Replying to queries, Rajewal said Chaduni had been telling farmer unions leaders in Punjab to take the political route.

“We had been telling him that we have no such programme. Later, the Punjab leaders complained about his statements and on Tuesday a meeting was held. Today, the general house (of the Morcha) suspended him for seven days,” he said.

A week ago, Chaduni had said that the outfits from Punjab involved in agitation against the new agriculture laws should contest the Punjab Assembly elections as it will 'present a model on how the system can be changed'.

After Chaduni had suggested the 'Mission Punjab' idea on the lines of ' Mission UP' planned by the SKM, several BJP leaders from Haryana and Punjab had targeted those leading the farmers' stir, saying that it was now clear that the agitating unions were driven by political motives.

The SKM has planned a ''mahapanchayat'' in September and other activities in Uttar Pradesh.

Reacting to his suspension, Chaduni said, “I had mooted an idea-- Mission Punjab... No one can stop one from expressing a thought or mooting an idea. One can differ with that. But suspending anyone on this ground is wrong.' “Still, the decision they have taken, I have no problem with it. But my stand is still the same that we should run Mission Punjab,' Chaduni, who had last week led a big group of farmers from Gurdaspur in Punjab to Singhu border protest site, said.

'In Punjab, the protesters (those against farm laws), honest people, labourers, farmers and small shopkeepers should form their own government and defeat traditional parties.

“And by doing so present it as a model before the country. Today, we don't need to change the rule from one party to another, but we have to change the system. And the system can be changed with power,” he said in a video message while reacting to his suspension.

Chaduni also said that he will continue to play a key role in the ongoing farmers' agitation.

He said that the government should not think that there is any kind of division among the farmer unions and asserted that the stir was going strong.

Meanwhile, announcing their strategy over the next few months, Rajewal said their next move would be “Mission UP and Uttarakhand”.

'Our next target is to strengthen our agitation in Uttarakhand and UP. From August 1-25, we will be holding meetings across districts. On September 5, there will be a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Muzaffarnagar,' he said. PTI SUN CHS RT

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