After Mahapanchayats held in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana in a show of strength and to support the farmers protesting at Delhi borders, Punjab is holding its first-ever Mahapanchayat this afternoon. According to reports, around 31 farmer unions are expected to participate in the Mahapanchayat with around one lakh people attending the gathering.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the Mahapanchayat being held in Jagraon grain market in Ludhiana, will see the participation of farmers and labourers from Ludhiana, Moga and Barnala areas. As per the report, arhtiyas, truckers, trade union members and residents are also expected to participate in the gathering. The police have heightened security arrangements in the area. According to the latest report, farmers have already started to pour-in at the venue.
Kanwaljeet Khanna from BKU (Dakaunda) told IE that farmers, farm labourers, trade unions, truckers, Galla Mazdoor Union, Federation of Punjab Ahrtiya Association will take part in the Mahapanchayat.
Farm union leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal and Rakesh Tikait are also expected to attend it. Also, for the first time, BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) will be sharing a stage with Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). Though the BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) members have been coordinating with the SKM but have never shared the stage.
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) said that they are together in this movement against the farm laws.
Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, said that people want the union leaders to address the gathering on a joint platform.
The Mahapanchayat in Punjab will be different from those in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as the Punjab government has been openly supporting the farmers’ protest unlike the BJP governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Punjab is also going to have local body polls later this week. The farmers’ protest has been a talking point even in the local body elections. Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal are two main opposition parties in Punjab and they have already extended their support to the farmers’ protest against the three farm laws.