India on Tuesday criticised the comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the farmers’ protest in Delhi against the Centre’s farm laws, saying they were “unwarranted”, reported ANI.
“We’ve seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. “These are unwarranted especially when pertaining to [the] internal affairs of a democratic country.”
Srivastava added that it was best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for “political purposes”.
Earlier in the day, Trudeau had backed the farmers’ protest. “The situation [from the protest] is concerning,” he said at an online event to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. “We’re all very worried about family and friends. We know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protestors.”
Trudeau, the first world leader to comment publicly on the ongoing protests, said that he believes in the process of dialogue. “We have reached out through multiple means to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns,” he said.
Canadian MP Tim S Uppal had also urged the Indian government to hear out the protestors during his address to the country’s Parliament.
Thousands of farmers from several states in India, especially Punjab and Haryana, have camped outside Delhi’s borders for six days now, demonstrating against the Centre’s agriculture laws.
The Centre invited protestors to hold talks, after which the farmers on Tuesday afternoon agreed to attend a meeting with the government.
The farmers had to brave tear gas and water cannons on their march to enter Delhi as the police refused them entry. Eventually, they were allowed to enter the Capital and were designated a protest site not to their liking. Many chose to camp at the Delhi border, especially at the Tikri and Singhu border crossings.
The farmers are protesting against the three ordinances – Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Assurance and Farm Service Ordinance 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 – that were passed in September. They were signed into laws by President Ram Nath Kovind on September 27.
Farmers and traders have alleged that the government wants to discontinue the minimum support price regime in the name of reforms. They fear that the laws will leave them at the mercy of corporate powers. The government has maintained that farm laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.