BKU Ugrahan – the largest farmer union of Punjab – has decided to stick to its plan to hold a three-hour rail roko protest against the state government on Thursday to show ‘no confidence’ in the AAP dispensation, despite Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday thwarting the AAP regime’s plan to summon a special assembly session for passing a trust vote in favour of the government.
BKU Ugrahan had planned the rail roko protest to coincide with the AAP government’s ‘now thwarted’ plan to bring a confidence motion.
The AAP had sought to prove its majority through a confidence motion in the assembly, days after it alleged that the BJP was trying to bring down its government in Punjab by poaching its MLAs. The farmers’ plan to go ahead with the agitation was announced by BKU Ugrahan president Joginder Singh Ugrahan after an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
BKU Ugrahan general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said, “AAP is slowly losing confidence of the people. This protest is to let the government know about it.”
He said, “The rail roko has been planned from 12 noon to 3 pm in 18 districts of Punjab where we have our units. Locations haven’t been finalised as yet. We have flashed the message to all districts and the district union leaders concerned are identifying the places for the agitation.”
Kokrikalan said, “The AAP government in Punjab is anti-farmer and anti-labourer. It hasn’t yet paid compensation to farmers for damage to cotton crop following pink bollworm attack in the past. The farm labourers are struggling to get their share of compensation. The government imposed restrictions on farm labourers to organise dharna outside Dreamland colony in Sangrur where Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann has a house. It resorted to lathi-charge on protesting assistant professors in Barnala recently. Farmers in Lambi suffered losses due to waterlogging, but they hardly got any help. The rulers call themselves ‘Aam Aadmi’ but became ‘Khas Aadmi’ soon after coming to power. So, this protest is our way of showing ‘no confidence’ against this government.”
He added, “We have appealed to people from all walks of life to join us in the protest tomorrow (Thursday) at railway tracks in different districts of the state.”
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BKU Ugrahan also said that the AAP government has been imposing diktats on farmers on the stubble burning issue, but the field fire is not the only source of pollution. “The government hasn’t made any alternative arrangements for stubble burning. We oppose all actions being taken by the government against farmers.”
Meanwhile, BKU Dakaunda leadership held a meeting in which it decided that it will not let anyone file FIR against the farmers for burning stubble.