Farmer leaders said the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body for 44 agricultural unions, will meet on January 15 to review the progress of outstanding demands and decide on the future course of action.
Peasant leader and SKM member Abhimanyu Singh Kohar said the people lost their love for BJP during the farmers’ movement, so it would be difficult for the party to conduct elections well in states ruled by farmers such as Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Since the electoral commission announced the election dates, no new work can be done and some of the main demands of farmers are still pending, he said.
“Our main demands to give us a legal guarantee on the MSP and to expel Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni from the Cabinet are still not met. People are unhappy with BJP and these issues will play a decisive role in Punjab and in Uttar Pradesh The SKM will meet on January 15 to discuss these issues and define a future course of action, ”Kohar said.
He added that the government of Punjab has already announced that it will resume business against registered farmers during the unrest. Also in Haryana, the state government issued an order in this regard on December 23, 2021, Kohar said.
The Indian Election Commission announced on Saturday that the elections will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7 in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.
Voting for the high-stakes Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will take place in seven phases, starting with the western part of the politically crucial state on February 10 and moving east.
Punjab (117 seats), Uttarakhand (70 seats) and Goa (40 seats) will vote in a single day on February 14, coinciding with the second phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh, according to the schedule announced by the electoral commission .
For Manipur, the electoral panel decided to conduct the voting in two phases – 38 seats on February 27 and 22 seats on March 3 – coinciding with the fifth and sixth phases of the poll in Uttar Pradesh.
The final phase of voting will take place on March 7 and votes for all phases will be counted on March 10.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which is part of the SKM, also felt that the farmers’ unrest had an impact and that their problems will remain decisive in the elections, especially in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
BKU, an influential farmers’ union in western Uttar Pradesh, said the problems of the MSP and Union Minister Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, whose son is the main accused in the case violence in Lakhimpur Kheri will hurt BJP prospects in the polls.
BKU spokesman Saurabh Upadhyay claimed that the Center had not functioned as it should, as it had in the Lakhimpur Kheri case.
“The Center should have sacked the Union Minister. The bias is clear. The MSP is another big issue that is having an effect in all states. It will certainly have an impact in the elections in Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab, ”Upadhyay told PTI.
He said making a legal guarantee on MSP would benefit the government, if only it gave in to the farmers’ demand.
“The farmers who had been forgotten are currently the biggest problem for the Center. It only happened because of the farmers’ protest at the Delhi border,” Upadhyay said.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, had started protesting three agricultural laws at Delhi’s borders on November 26, 2020.
The protest continued for over a year and farmers returned home on December 11, 2021 after the repeal of farm laws and the Center assured them to consider their other demands as well, including a committee on the MSP and withdrawal from business against farmers etc.
-With PTI inputs