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Sanyukt Samaj Morcha Fields R-Day Violence Accused Lakha Sidhana



Even before getting into a full-fledged campaign mode, the newly floated political front launched by farmers in Punjab seems to be making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

After the Election Commission sought clarification from Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) before registering it as a political party, it has now courted controversy by fielding controversial gangster-turned-social activist Lakhwinder Singh alias Lakha Sidhana, who was arrested by the Delhi police for his alleged involvement in January 26 violence during the anti-farm law agitation.

The 40-year-old will be contesting on an SSM ticket from Maur in Punjab’s Bathinda district. Although he has maintained that he was not involved in the Republic Day violence, the Delhi Police claim to have a strong case against him. Prior to this, Sidhana had contested the 2012 assembly elections through the now defunct Manpreet Badal-led People’s Party of Punjab.

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Despite his criminal background, including one case in 2001 lodged under the Arms Act, where he was convicted, there are several cases pending against him. Sidhana will be contesting these elections from the front which had once distanced itself from him because of his actions and involvement in the violence. Farmers’ leaders had even made statement claiming he had brought a bad name to the agitation.

He had remained underground, but had continued to address his supporters through Facebook and appeared in a rally last year in Patiala.

Justifying the decision of allotting a ticket to him, SSM and farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “There was a demand from within the SSM members that he should be given a ticket.”

Rajewal said that he was popular in his area and was also known for the social work that he has been doing in Bathinda district. He said the differences between the farmers’ body and Sidhana had been ironed out.

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