Union Minister of State for Exterior Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi Thursday referred to as the protesting farmers ‘mawalis’ (ruffians), inviting a pointy response from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who demanded her “rapid resignation” and stated her remarks replicate the BJP’s “anti-farmer” mindset.
Lekhi later claimed that her phrases had been “twisted”, however added that she withdraws her remarks if they’ve damage anybody.
Responding to a query on the continuing farmers’ protest throughout a press convention on the BJP headquarters, Lekhi stated, “Phir kisan aap un logon ko bol rahe hain; mawali hain wo (you’re calling them farmers once more; they’re ruffians),” she stated.
“What occurred on January 26 had been shameful, prison actions. The Opposition promoted such actions,” she added.
Lekhi additionally stated the protesters are “enjoying within the arms” of some conspirators. “Farmers don’t have time to take a seat at Jantar Mantar. They’re working of their farms. Middlemen are behind them (protestors), who are not looking for farmers to get advantages,” she stated.
An aide of Lekhi’s stated she was responding to questions particularly requested by a reporter on the alleged assault on a cameraperson at Jantar Mantar and the violence that broke out throughout a farmers’ rally at Pink Fort on January 26.
Lekhi advised The Indian The Press Reporter, “My phrases have been twisted. The (query throughout) press convention was on a totally completely different topic. Regardless of something, if my phrases have damage farmers, I take them again and I apologise.”
The BJP MP’s retraction got here quickly after after the Punjab CM criticised her for utilizing “derogatory language” for farmers.
“Given the ruling get together’s alleged brazen makes an attempt to stifle all voices of dissent and protest, the truth that it had failed to interrupt the spirit of the farmers was clearly rankling,” Amarinder stated in an official assertion.
He stated that whereas the assault on the cameraperson at Jantar Mantar “was deplorable” and “motion must be taken towards the responsible,” the Union minister’s response was “completely uncalled for” and “provocative”. Lekhi had no proper to “defame” the farmers in such a way, he stated.
Pointing to the “disparaging” feedback made by numerous BJP leaders towards the farmers since their agitation began on Delhi’s borders, he stated the ruling get together had been attempting to “malign” the farmers and undermine their peaceable protests from the outset.
In the meantime, police stated that the cameraperson was injured after an YouTuber entered right into a scuffle with him at Jantar Mantar, the place a gaggle of 200 farmers began a protest towards the brand new farm legal guidelines earlier within the day.
“A heated argument broke out between the 2 events after some feedback. The TV journalist was damage on the hand throughout the scuffle. We now have taken him for an MLC and can take authorized motion. The YouTuber has been detained,” a senior police officer stated.
With inputs from ENS, Chandigarh