India criticizes Canadian PM's 'ill-informed, unwarranted' comments on farmers' protest
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments on the ongoing protests by Indian farmers were "ill-informed" and "unwarranted," India said in a sharp rebuke on Tuesday. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sought to highlight that the protests are an internal matter. Farmers in India have been protesting against the Centre's contentious agricultural laws that were passed in September. Here are more details.
We've seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders: MEA
Hours after Trudeau's remarks, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a brief statement on Tuesday, "We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India." "These 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," the spokesperson added.
Here's what Trudeau had said
On the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Monday, Trudeau had said, "Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest." He said, "The news coming out of India about the protest by farmers... The situation is concerning and we are all very worried about family and friends. I know that's a reality for many of you."
The Canadian PM had further said, "We believe in the importance of dialogue and that's why, we have reached out to multiple means, directly to the India authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a moment for all of us to pull together."
Farmers from several states reach Delhi to protest
Thousands of farmers from several states are camping on the outskirts of Delhi for the sixth consecutive day in protests against the new laws. As they moved towards the national capital, the farmers had braved a heavy police crackdown involving water cannons, teargas shelling, and police barricades. The farmers had demanded to hold talks with the government on the laws to address their grievances.
Centre holding talks with farmers today
Currently, the Centre is holding talks with 35 farmer representatives. The farmers are expected to address fears that they may be deprived of guaranteed minimum prices with the new laws. They also fear that government markets or mandis will be scrapped. Reportedly, the government is likely to tell the protesters that the laws will not be repealed and will seek to dispel rumors.