India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) hits back at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the latter expressed support for the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi’s border areas, saying he is “ill-informed” and the comment “unwarranted”.
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India,” in response to media questions.
“Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country. It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes,” Srivastava said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first world leader to comment on farmer’s protest. He expressed solidarity with farmers and criticised the Indian government’s handling of the protest.
Mr. Trudeau made the statement of his support to protesting farmers in India while addressing a virtual event on the 551st anniversary of Sikh founder Guru Nanak.
“The news coming out of India about the protest by farmers … the situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends,” Mr. Trudeau said.
“I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest”.
The protest entered its sixth day on Tuesday as thousands of people from several states, including Punjab and Haryana, continue to hold peaceful sit-in demonstrations at the outskirts of Delhi.
Growers from India’s big northern farming are demonstrating against laws they fear could pave the way for the government to stop buying grain at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers.
An estimated 20,000 protesters have blocked five entry points to the capital city through the Delhi-Haryana Highway, demanding the BJP-led government withdraw the new laws.
The farmers have deemed the new laws as “anti-farmer”, with fears rife that legislation will empower corporate giants and deprive small farmers of state-guaranteed minimum prices for their produce.
Meanwhile, the government officials are meeting with a 35-member team of farmers to dispel concerns about the minimum support price and dismantle the protest.
The protests agreed to meet a three-member team of ministers after denying home minister Amit Shah’s “conditional” talks offer. (Source: Independent UK)