Newly floated political outfit Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM)— created by farmers who had protested for a year against the Centre’s three controversial laws that were eventually repealed in November 2021— has announced its first list of candidates for next month’s Punjab assembly polls.
Balbir Singh Rajewal, farmer leader and president of a faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, will contest from the Samrala seat in Ludhiana district.
Releasing the first list of 10 candidates, the SSM said Prem Singh Bhangu will be fielded from Ghanaur (Patiala), Harjinder Singh Tanda from Khadoor Sahib and Ravneet Singh Brar from Mohali.
Dr Sukhminder Singh Dhillon will be the SSM nominee from Tarn Taran, Rajjesh Kumar from Kartarpur, Ramandeep Singh from Jaitu (Faridkot), Ajay Kumar from Phillaur, Balraj Singh Thakur from Qadian and Mandeep Sangha from Moga.
Speaking to the media, SSM treasurer Bogh Singh said with the message of “New Punjab”, the party will go to the polls, focussing on the common people of the state. “A campaign will be launched against social ills such as drug addiction, mafia raj and illegal sand mining,” he announced.
The Sanyukt Samaj Morcha is trying to cash in on what it believes is not just anti-incumbency against the state’s ruling Congress party but also anger against other political outfits like the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The SSM was carved out of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which held protests against the farm laws. Though many of the constituents decided to stay away from politics, more than a dozen came together to form a political front for the polls.
“Successive governments have failed to deliver what they promise. We dream of a Punjab that has adequate healthcare facilities, modern educational institutions and affordable amenities,” said Singh. Candidates for the remaining seats are expected to be announced by next week, according to SSM leaders.
The Punjab polls will be held in a single phase on February 14 and the votes will be counted on March 10.