Yogendra Yadav opts for a sabbatical from Samyukt Kisan Morcha

Academic turned political activist Yogendra Yadav has decided to opt for a “two-year” leave from Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM). Professor Yadav, who plays a key role in planning SKM activities, will soon join the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. He got permission from the SKM general assembly, held here on Sunday, to go on leave.

Talk to The Hindu, Professor Yadav said that over the next two years he will be fully involved in an effort to build a bridge between political parties and popular movements, farmers’ and workers’ movements and anti-Citizenship movements Amendment Act (CAA). He said he would coordinate not just with Congress, but with all political parties that offer genuine resistance. “Right now, the challenge is to save the country and the Constitution,” he added.

He said his attempt has been to try to connect struggles, such as the farmers’ protests against the Three Farm Bills, to the broader struggles in the country. “For the next two years, I have decided to devote all my energy to building the bridge between the popular movements and the political parties that are formally committed to the defense of constitutional democracy. Given my involvement in this effort, I just wouldn’t have time to focus on the work of the SKM and that may not be fair because as I build this bridge I may not be able to represent just one of the movements exclusively,” said Professor Yadav.

He said he wanted to take the experience he gained from the farmers’ movement to the next level. “What good is this experience of it only stopping at the repeal of three laws. We do not know, if after two years we will have this Constitution of the country or that it [the country] will be made a Hindu Rashtra from India. So right now, every success must be tied to this larger challenge. Whatever lessons I have learned, whatever contacts I have built and whatever relationships I have, I will use them to build a bridge between opposition parties and resistance movements. . The parliamentary opposition and the opposition in the streets, they must unite,” he added.

He said his work in the immediate future will be linked to anything that contributes to the 2024 general election, such as Bharat Jodo Yatra initiated by the Congress. “Tomorrow we would be very happy to support if another party takes such an initiative. The objective is very clear, the objective is not any party, any leader. We are as if we were in 1930s Germany. At that time, if someone said that I wanted to increase three parliamentary seats for my party, it would sound like a joke. This is the situation we find ourselves in,” said he added.

On the political dividend of people’s movements, he said that during the elections in Uttar Pradesh, the SKM held press conferences against the BJP. “But the results told us that it was not enough. We need to find ways to translate that energy into electoral politics. If this bridge building does not happen in advance, on time, then it has no consequences. Pay attention to who wins and who loses. Right now, the most important task is paramount,” he said.

He said his organization, the Jai Kisan Andolan, will remain with the SKM, and Avik Saha, its national president, will replace him in the central committee. “I will continue to function as a volunteer of SKM,” he added.

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