Why Yogendra Yadav was suspended from SKM for a month; “He apologised but farm leaders were not satisfied”
Yogendra Yadav was suspended after a 10-hours long meeting held at the Singu border on Thursday
One of the most important leaders of the ongoing farm protest against three laws and Swaraj India chief, Yogendra Yadav was suspended from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – an umbrella body of various farmers' unions – for a month on Thursday.
He was apparently suspended for having visited the family of the deceased BJP activist, Shubham Mishra who was killed in the violence that broke out after farmers were allegedly mowed down by the BJP leader and Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.
Explaining why the SKM has to suspend Yadav, a BKU leader who was present in the meeting of the SKM leaders told NH that Yadav gave statement undermining violence unleashed on farmers.
“He equalized both the incidents…Provided an argument to the troll army associated with the BJP-RSS and countered BKU leader Rakesh Tikait in public,” said the leader who did not wish to be named.
Yadav has been asked to refrain from participating in the meetings and other activities of SKM for one month.
Pertinently, defending Sikh protesters, Tikait had said that the violence that followed after farmers were mowed down by a speeding vehicle in Lakhimpur Kheri “was a reaction to the action.”
Saying that the proposal to suspend Yadav was brought by 32 farmers' unions from Punjab, another farm leader said, “Decision was taken after 10-hours long meeting held at Singhu border on Thursday.”
“Yadav was given a chance to defend himself, during the meeting,” the farm leader said, adding, “Yadav apologised for not consulting other leaders before visiting the house of the BJP activist. But the SKM leadership was not satisfied.”
When asked if it was necessary to suspend Yadav, a prominent SKM leader replied, “What will people of Punjab and farmers living in the other parts of the country feel? More than 600 people have sacrificed their lives in this protest. Who is responsible for their deaths?”
Interestingly, it was Yadav who informed the media about his suspension from the SKM late at night on Thursday, not the farmers' leaders. No statement has been issued by the SKM in this regard yet.
Reacting to his suspension, Yadav in a statement issued in the early morning on Friday said that he "will work to strengthen the ongoing struggle”. Although he also stood by his decision to meet the family of the BJP activist.
Yadav on October 12, after meeting the family members of the BJP activist had tweeted photographs, saying that “the family was not angry” with the farmers.
In an article in The Print, he wrote, “Must we divide victims between ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’? How do we acknowledge multiple victims on different sides of the divide?”
As per SKM sources, Yadav’s explanation through media did not go down well with the leadership. A BKU leader, on condition of anonymity, alleged that “Yogendra Yadav works like one-man army. He has a habit of taking decisions on his own”.
“His meeting the family of the BJP activist has weakened our stand against the government.”