How Punjab Farmer Agitation Has Been Hijacked by Their Left-Leaning Leaders

How Punjab Farmer Agitation Has Been Hijacked by Their Left-Leaning Leaders

This is an open secret now that a handful of farmer leaders, with Leftist and anti-Modi leanings, have hijacked the farmers’ agitation in Delhi. These are the leaders who want a bitter confrontation with the Centre and are trying to stall negotiations at each and every step.

In a nutshell, most of the farmer leaders from Punjab owe their allegiance to the Left Parties, both moderate and extremist.

There was a period in Punjab politics, when Communist leaders, including Harkishen Singh Surjit, used to hold sway over farmers’ outfits. However, presently, most of these farmer leaders have less to do with the interest of farmers and follow the political agenda of opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s farm policies.

At one point in time, these leftist farmer leaders used to condemn middlemen (adhatiyas) as bloodsuckers of farmers, but now they have included a large number of adhatiyas in their group to spearhead the farmers’ agitation.

When the new farm laws were enacted by Parliament, these Left leaders grabbed the chance to incite and instigate illiterate farmers and took control of the agitation. These leaders torpedoed every attempt by the government to establish channels of communication with the farmers. They succeeded in changing the direction of the farmers’ agitation, and they came out in the open and made farmers chant slogans for the release of anti-nation elements and pro-Naxalite leaders.

Interestingly, when the farmers came to know about the antecedents of ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang activists like Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, and pro-Naxalite intellectuals like Varvara Rao and Gautam Navlakha, they threw away the posters, placards, and banners.

But the most worrying aspect is that these anti-national elements and their supporters are still there within the ranks of farmers and are working in an organized manner. These elements have leanings towards Khalistani and Kashmiri separatists and Maoists who are engaged in the insurrection. Intelligence agencies have cautioned that these elements may create unrest and violence taking advantage of the farmers’ agitation.

These elements are inching ahead with their sinister design to organize violent confrontation between the Centre and the agitating farmers.

In an explosive claim, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan convenor VM Singh alleged a Congress link to the protests against the three farm laws. Speaking to the media, he claimed that a majority of the persons currently protesting at the Delhi border are from the Congress party. As advised by the Congress High command these farm leaders having allegiance to congress are stalling talks with the government. According to him, the number of farmers at the Delhi border had dropped to less than a thousand people owing to the withdrawal of RKMS from the stir against the agrarian laws.

Who are these farmer leaders who are stalling talks? Who are the ones who have clear leanings towards Naxalites? Who, among them, had glorified the killers of former PM Indira Gandhi? Who are the farm leaders having allegiance to Congress and AAP? The nation must know about these so-called farmer leaders, some of whom are listed below:

1. Satnam Singh Pannu (65)

Outfit: Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti
Political hyperlink: Not known

Pannu is president of his outfit, set up in 2007, claiming to have more than 5,000 members with a sizeable presence in taran, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur, and Amritsar.

His outfit was shaped in 2000 when the then SAD-BJP authorities were not procuring paddy from mandis and it was because of their agitation that the crop was lastly lifted.

2. Dr. Darshan Pal (70)

Outfit: Krantikari Kisan Union; energetic in Malwa area
Political hyperlink: CPI-M,

Dr Darshan Pal head of Krantikari Kisan Morcha. He is the leader who, on Thursday, supported the holding of placards demanding the release of anti-national elements like Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, and Elgar Parishad activists, presently in jail. This union owes allegiance to CPI-M, has more than 700 members, and has a presence in Bathinda, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, and Faridkot.

3. Joginder Singh Ugrahan (75)
Outfit: Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan),
Political hyperlink: CPI-M,

joginder Singh set up the Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan), and has 46,000 followers on Facebook. His union has a good presence in Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Bathinda, Barnala, and Ludhiana and is one of many largest outfits in protest. This union managed to bring 34 pro-Left farmer outfits in Punjab on a single platform.

Singh left the Military to take care of his household’s farm and shaped BKU (Ugrahan) in 2002. He’s amongst few leaders with whom Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to request the agitation to be shifted to Burari.

4. Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan,
Outfit:BKU (Ugrahan).
Political hyperlink: leanings towards Maoists

Sukhdev Singh is the general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan). Earlier, he used to teach science to students and is now a farmer leader. He is said to be the brain behind the farmers’ agitation in Punjab. He was the president of his college union, had leanings towards Maoists, and was once seriously injured while carrying out ‘rail roko’ agitation.

5. Surjeet Singh Phool (75)
Outfit: Bharatiya Kisan Union, or BKU (Krantikari)
Political hyperlink: leanings towards CPI(M)

Surjeet Singh Phool is state president of BKU(Krantikari). Set up in 2004, this outfit has leanings towards CPI(M) and has more than 1,000 members. It has a sizeable presence in Bathinda, Sangrur, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Fazilka, Moga, and Patiala. He was once arrested by Punjab Police for his pro-Maoist activities.

6. Sarwan Singh Pandher,
Outfit: Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee.
Political hyperlink:

Sarwan Singh Pandher was earlier zonal president and now executive vice-president of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee

7. Buta Singh Burj Gill (66)
Outfit: BKU (Ekta-Dakonda)
Political hyperlink: pro-CPI(M)

Buta Singh Burj Gill president of BKU Dakunda, and has pro-CPI(M) leanings. He has been working among farmers since 1984 and set up a political party in 2004.

He was earlier a part of BKU (Ekta-Sidhupur) faction, which suffered a break up in 2006, and have become a part of the group which was later renamed BKU (Ekta-Dakonda). His union works in tandem with BKU (Lakhowal).

8. Ajmer Singh Lakhowal
Outfit: BKU (Lakhowal)
Political hyperlink: pro-Shiromani Akali Dal

Ajmer Singh Lakhowal heads BKU (Lakhowal) set up in 1992. He came into controversy when in 1994, he praised Indira Gandhi’s killers, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. He was arrested in 1999 in connection with a tractor purchase scam. He is close to Shiromani Akali Dal, and has more than 7,000 followers in Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Mansa, Patiala, Ropar, and Sangrur. He has visited Canada several times, where his son stays. He was elected chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board with the help of Akali Dal.

9. Jagmohan Singh,
Outfit: Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (Dakaunda),
Political hyperlink: Congress

He was earlier in BKU (Ekta) and is presently the general secretary of BKU Dakunda. Jagmohan Singh Patiala is one of the prominent farm leaders who organized the protest and shaped its ideological stance said no matter how much time it takes, farmers will not retreat until newly enacted laws are annulled.

10.Nirbhay Singh Dudhike (70)
Outfit: Kirti Kisan Union
Political hyperlink: CPI(ML) New Democracy,

Nirbhay Singh Dudhike heads the Kirti Kisan Union and has close links with CPI(ML). His union is active in Amritsar, Pathankot, Jullundur and Sangrur. His union has more than 5,500 members and he was once sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for setting fire to a bus in Punjab. Police had once raided his home in connection with Maoist activities, but he managed to escape.

He was related to Tarimala Nagi Reddy’s Unity Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India-Marxist Leninist (UCCRI-ML) and based the Tillers Union. He was jailed for 19 months in the course of the Emergency and joined CPI(ML) New Democracy within the late Nineteen Eighties.

11.Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu (55)
Outfit: Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Punjab)
Political hyperlink: leanings towards CPI(M).

Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu is the Punjab unit president of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, set up in 2000. It has more than 1,500 followers and has leanings towards CPI(M). It has a presence in Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Taran Taran and Gurdaspur.

12.Satnam Singh Ajnala,
Outfit: Jamhoori Kisan Sabha
Political hyperlink: Revolutionary Marxist Party of India.

belonging to the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India. He runs the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha in Bhatinda, Ropar, Sangrur and Taran Taran. He is said to be close to that party’s chief Mangat Ram.

13.Baldev Singh Nihalgarh (64)
Outfit: Kul Hind Kisan Sabha
Political hyperlink: CPI

Baldev Singh Nihalgarh runs the CPI farmers’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha and has supporters in Bhatinda, Moga, Mansa, and Patiala. He began with CPI’s youth wing, AIYF, and later became one of the frontline farmer leaders of Punjab. He is part of Kul Hind Kisan Sabha.

14.Ruldu Singh Mansa (68),
Outfit: Punjab Kisan Union
Political hyperlink: CPI(ML) Liberation

Mansa is the founder-leader and president of All India Kisan Mahasabha, which is affiliated with CPI(ML) Liberation. He was expelled from BKU (Ekta-Sidhupur) some 15 years in the past because of his affiliation with the CPI(ML) Liberation. His outfit has 2,500 members in Ludhiana, Mansa, and Muktsar.

15.Hannan Mollah (74), West Bengal
Outfit: All India Kisan Sabha
Political hyperlink: CPM

Hannan Mollah is a CPI(M) leader and heads the All India Kisan Sabha. He was a CPI(M) MP from West Bengal, who won the Lok Sabha elections eight times. Presently, he is a senior leader of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

16.Bogh Singh Mansa (68)
Outfit: BKU
Political hyperlink: none

Singh, now president of the union, has been engaged on points associated to farmers for the last 42 years and acquired concern in activism in his pupil days as a coordinating member of the Punjab College students’ Union.

17.Kulwant Singh Sandhu (65)
Outfit: Jamhuri Kisan Sabha.
Political hyperlink: Central Committee, Revolutionary Marxist Occasion of India

Sandhu started as a pupil activist with CPM’s pupil wing, SFI, and fought the separatist motion in Punjab. He was elected sarpanch of Jalandhar’s Rurka Kalan village given his place in opposition to militancy and was as soon as a shot in his leg. He left CPM in 2001.

18.Main Singh Punnawal (60)
Outfit: All India Kisan Sabha
Political hyperlink: CPM

Punnawal has been with Left outfits for almost 50 years now since he joined SFI at a school in Sangrur in 1973.

19.Inderjeet Singh Kot Budha (50)
Outfit: Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Punjab – Kot Buddha);
Political Affiliation: None

He has a seven-acre farm in Kot Buddha village in Tarn Taran. He was unable to attend the assembly because of ailing well-being and despatched a consultant. He was made the pinnacle of the outfit in 2018. “We’re with no occasion; we’re farmers,” he says. His outfit is energetic in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Ferozepur, and so on.

20.Gurbaksh Singh Barnala (67)
Outfit: Jai Kisaan Andolan
Political Affiliation: None

Barnala mentioned he’s a small farmer proudly owning 2.5 acres in Barnala’s Kattu village. He’s a founding member of his outfit, which was established in 2015. He didn’t attend the assembly because of ill-health.

21.Harjinder Singh Tanda (57)
Outfit: Azaad Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Punjab); energetic in 4 districts
Political hyperlink: none

Tanda has a 13-acre farm on which he grows paddy and greens, and was sarpanch of his village for 15 years till 2018. He has participated in a number of protests since 2000 when he turned a founding member of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee. He turned a part of the splinter group of the committee and later based Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee.

22.Jagjeet Singh Dalewal (62)
Outfit: BKU-Sidhupur; claims to have 1.75 lakh members
Political hyperlink: none

Dhaliwal belongs to a household of farmers and has 17 acres of land. Helped by his son in farming. He has been a part of unions for many years now.

23.Harmeet Singh (43)
Outfit: BKU (Qadian); has 70,000 members within the district
Political hyperlink: None

His grandfather was a founding member of BKU, and Singh is among the many new era farmer-leaders within the state. He has 20 acres of land and says he tries to carry the motion alive on the grassroots by common conferences on the village and district stage. He joined the union 15 years in the past.

24.Balbir Singh Rajewal (77)
Outfit: BKU (Rajewal)
Political hyperlink: None

Born in 1943 in Ludhiana in a household of farmers, Rajewal accomplished his schooling and joined the farmers’ union in 1971. He has 60 acres of land, runs a faculty, a school, and an “honesty” store which has no shopkeeper however solely has a field for purchasers to deposit cash for what they purchase. He says he has by no means been affiliated with any political occasion. Rawal has been energetic within the union after his son left his job as an industrial pilot in 1992 to take over farming from him.

25.Satnam Singh Sahni (48)
Outfit: BKU (Daoba); energetic in Daoba with primarily sugarcane farmers as members
Political hyperlink: none

Among the many youngest farmer leaders, Sahni has around 30 acres of land and shot to fame amongst farmers’ unions when he mobilized farmers in opposition to low procurement charge of sugarcane 5 years in the past, forcing the state authorities to extend costs. A postgraduate from Khalsa Faculty, he was a footballer in Panjab College.

26.Balvinder Singh Aulakh (42)
Outfit: Majha Kisan Committee; energetic in Majha area
Political hyperlink: none

Aulakh has led agitations associated with points confronted by sugarcane farmers for the final six years. A sarpanch, Aulakh arrange the committee in 2014 and has additionally been dealing with points associated with mandis in his space.

27. Baldev Singh Sirsa (72)
Outfit: Lok Bhalai Insaaf Welfare Society
Political hyperlink: none

From Amritsar, Sirsa is a widely known face on native TV channels and is understood for his many litigations associated with farmers’ points. He has additionally labored in Haryana as a social activist. Sirsa’s father was identified to be near Chaudhry Devi Lal and he’s thought-about near OP Chautala.

28.Satnam Singh Bahru (81)
Outfit: Indian Farmers Affiliation
Political hyperlink: none

Bahru has been engaged on agrarian points for almost 40 years. His outfit backed BJP within the 2014 elections however is now at odds with the Narendra Modi authorities for refusing to implement the Swaminathan committee’s suggestions and “betraying the farmers”.

29.Buta Singh Shadipur (59)
Outfit: Bhartiya Kisan Manch
Political hyperlink: Former SAD member

He launched the Bhartiya Kisan Manch in 2016 and performed a key position in bringing collectively totally different outfits within the present agitation.

30. Jungbeer Singh Tanda (45)
Outfit: Doaba Kisan Samiti
Political hyperlink: none

From the Hoshiarpur district, Tundra has labored for farmers on points associated with sugarcane cultivation. His outfit mentioned they’re decided to maintain the agitation apolitical.

31.Mukesh Chandra (65)
Outfit: Doaba Kisan Sangharsh Committee; influential in areas around Jalandhar
Political hyperlink: none

Vice-chairman of his outfit, Chandra led protests in Jalandhar between August and October 2016 to demand notification of the 0238 number of sugarcane to carry its worth to Rs 370 per quintal. He was a part of the teams which negotiated with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, and finally agreed to raise the rail blockade.

32. Sukhpal Singh Daftar (61)
Outfit: Ganna Sangharsh Committee; energetic in Hoshiarpur
Political hyperlink: none

Daftar is president of the committee, which primarily represents sugarcane farmers in Dasuya. The outfit led an agitation two years in the past to demand sugar mills to clear dues and improve costs, blocking the Jammu-Jalandhar freeway and railway tracks.

33.Harpal Singh (60)
Outfit: Azad Kisan Committee Doaba; working primarily in Hoshiarpur
Political hyperlink: none

Singh has led the outfit throughout street blockades in Hoshiarpur in September

34. Baldev Singh Miyapur (69)
Outfit: BKU (Mann); headquartered in Haryana
Political hyperlink: Congress

Miyapur is Punjab president of the outfit and has been a longstanding part of farmer agitations throughout north India, together with elevating the demand for freedom to develop Bt cotton in July 2019

35. Kripal Singh Nathuvala (52)
Outfit: Kisan Bachao Morcha; Punjab-based farmers’ wing of Worldwide Panthic Dal
Political hyperlink: none

Natural is the president of KBM, which has been vocal about farmers’ points, together with water sharing, and was concerned in negotiations with Punjab authorities over the rail blockade.

36.Parminder Singh Pal Majra (65)
Outfit: BKU (Lakhowal),
Political hyperlink: SAD

Majra is Punjab president of the outfit, which filed a petition in opposition to the farm legal guidelines in the Supreme Court, allegedly without permission of different farmer unions. Throughout talks with the Union Agriculture Secretary in October, he had hit out on the Centre for “attempting to coach farmers”.

37.Prem Singh Bhangu
Outfit: Kul Hind Kisan Federation
Political hyperlink: Marxist Communist Party of India (United)

Bhangu is the founder president of KHKF, established in 2014. He has been related to farmers’ points since 1992 and is an old-timer in Left politics, beginning with SFI in his faculty days within the Nineteen Seventies.

38. Kiranjeet Sekhon
Outfit: Kul Hind Kisan Federation (Sangrur); energetic in Sangrur
Political Hyperlink: Marxist Communist Occasion of India (United)

Related to the Left since his faculty days and a part of Left farmers’ organizations, Sekhon is a working lawyer in Sangrur and floated a Sangrur faction of KHKF two years ago.

39. Gurnam Singh Channuni (60) Haryana
Outfit: BKU (Chaduni)
Political hyperlink: AAP

A prosperous farmer and Rashtriya from Kurukshetra district, he has been related to farm points for a number of years and is the face of the continued agitation in Haryana. His spouse contested Lok Sabha polls on an AAP ticket whereas he contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as an independent.

40. Shiv Kumar Kakka (65) Madhya Pradesh
Outfit: Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh
Political hyperlink: None

Shivkumar Kakkaji Sharma aka Kakkaji is the national president of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (RKMS)

Kakkaji is an angry farmer leader who has been railing against the government for the last several years. The-65 years-old farmer-activist has been associated with an RSS-backed farmer outfit, sacked after his repeated attacks on the BJP-led government in the state, and by his own admission, jailed 44 times. He started out as a student activist back in 1971. It was in Jabalpur University where he studied from 1971 to 1977 as a law student, doing MA LLB where he dabbled in activism, first by holding protests for farmers’ rights and later providing them legal assistance pro bono.

41. VM Singh
Outfit: Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan
Political hyperlink: None

VM Singh is the convenor of his outfit Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan. He decided to the withdrawal of his outfit RKMS from the stir against the agrarian laws after the incident of January 26, 2021.

Making his disagreement with BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait very clear, Singh had announced this decision post the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day.

RKMS convenor VM Singh remarked, “The day before yesterday, there were 40,000-50,000 people. Today, you check out how many people are there. The Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan is UP’s biggest union.” He added, “Nobody from Uttar Pradesh is sitting there. There are not even 1000 people. 200, 300, or 400 people from Uttarakhand are sitting there. A majority of them are from Congress.”

42. Rakesh Tikait (51)
Outfit: Bhartiya Kisan Union
Political hyperlink: Rashtriya Lok Dal

He is the son of a prominent farmer leader and BKU co-founder late Mahendra Singh Tikait. After the death of his father, Tikait officially joined BKU and later became its spokesperson. In November 2020, his organization, BKU joined the 2020–2021 Indian farmers’ protest, demanding that MSP be declared a legal right and removal of the Farm bills. On 26 January, violence broke out in the National Capital, Delhi Police filed an FIR against Rakesh Tikait and a few other farmer-leaders for their alleged role in the Republic Day violence and breach of the NOC issued by Delhi Police.

He contested the 2007 UP Assembly elections from the Khatauli seat with Congress support – only to finish a distant sixth. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he fought on a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket from Amroha and lost his deposit after polling a mere 9,539 votes.