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Was told not to engage in politics before to joining Stir: Charuni, Gurnam Singh

Chief of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni), Gurnam Singh, responded to farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher today, stating that he was contacted only after the call for the agitation had been made and that he was given a directive not to become involved in politics.

Pandher and a few other leaders recently attacked Gurnam Singh Charuni and the SKM leaders, claiming that in spite of several meetings, the leaders of other unions declined to back the movement.

Gurnam Singh made the following statement to media representatives: “People are beginning to believe that while we were requested to take part in the movement, we didn’t support it. But the tale they are giving is not whole. After the call for agitation was made, we were contacted. Additionally, it was stipulated that I had to declare that I would not be participating in politics or elections before I could join the movement.

“I would want to clarify that the agitations are not waged based on circumstances. They ought to have called meetings before making the call if they were serious about bringing us all together. Since several of the leaders of the previous agitation had already run for office, SKM (non-political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal should not have taken part in it if he and others believe that people who engage in politics shouldn’t be included in the agitation, he continued.

“Keeping us aside on the pretext that we engage in politics is not in the interest of farmers,” Charuni said. Still, we organized demonstrations, offered our support to the cause, and asked all unions to unite around a single platform. We met with Pandher and proposed him the formation of a single committee with representatives from the SKM and their unions, but he made no definite move in response. Dallewal requested that I speak with them beforehand, but the appointment was canceled and they did not respond. Even with a minimal agenda, we can still get together. Our union will keep up its external backing for the farmers’ movement.

Charuni said that oilseed crops were being sold for less than the MSP in the meanwhile. Under the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana, the government ought to pay the farmers compensation.

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