A day after Baba Lakha Singh, one of the heads of the Nanaksar Sikh sect based in Punjab, met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and wished to mediate between the Centre and the protesting farmers, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) Friday categorically said that it did not want any ‘middleman’ to discuss matters pertaining to the three farm laws.
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, working committee member of the All India Kisan Sangrash Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), said it was an unanimous decision of the SKM not accept anyone as mediator.
“We don’t know why the government is so confused. Their ministers are approaching religious leaders as vicholiya (middleman). We we don’t need any vicholiyas. Why can’t the government talk to us directly? Baba Lakha Singh met Agriculture Minister and offered to be a mediator. But we are not ready to accept anyone as mediator. It is the decision of the entire SKM,” said Jagmohan Singh.
Krantikari Kisan Union president Dr Darshan Pal said they had no issues if Baba Lakha Singh wants to meet the farmer unions. “We have no issues in meeting him and we appreciate his gesture as he organised langar at Singhu and is concerned about farmers, but we don’t want any mediators.”
Harmeet Singh Kadian, who heads the BKU (Kadian) echoed Darshan Pal.
The SKM is likely to take a call in its meeting on Saturday as to who all from the farmers’ leaders will be meeting Baba Lakha Singh in case the religious leader asks to meet them at Delhi borders.
BKU (Lakhowal) president Harinder Singh Lakhowal said the unions respect Baba Lakha Singh but “we don’t want any negotiator as we are focused on repeal of laws rather than finding a midway.”
Joginder Singh, the Jagraon unit chief of BKU (Lakhowal) said that after meeting Tomar, Baba Lakha Singh had met him. “Babaji said that the Government wants a midway solution in which farmers can also have a say. He wanted to meet the union leaders, but I told him that leaders will be busy with talks with the Government on Friday. Hence, he went back to Gurdwara Nanaksar Kaleran”.
Earlier, Baba Lakha Singh had said he wants the matter (the protests over agri laws) resolved. “I want to work as a mediator between the government and farmers. I had a good meeting with Tomar,” Baba Lakha Singh had said Thursday.
Baba Lakha Singh, who has his dera in Ludhiana district, is associated with the Sant Samaj, which held influence during the Akali Dal-BJP government in Punjab. He was among the invitees for the Ayodhya Ram temple Bhoomi Pujan.