Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has taken strong objection to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioning the ongoing farmers' agitation against new agricultural laws on the outskirts of Delhi.
"The prime minister of any country should not make comments on India's internal affairs. India doesn't require any outside interference. It's our internal matter. No country has the right to comment on our internal affairs", Singh told the Indian news agency ANI in an interview.
I'd like to say about prime minister of any country that comment shouldn't be made about India's internal affairs. India doesn't require any outside interference. It's our internal matter. No country has the right to comment on our internal affairs: Defence Min on farmers protest pic.twitter.com/aw0jV8u9lP— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2020
"Some forces have tried to create some misperceptions amongst farmers. We have spoken to several farmers. My only request to farmers is that clause-wise discussion should be done and not seek 'yes' or 'no' answer.s We will find a resolution", the minister added.
Some forces have tried to create some misperceptions amongst farmers. We've also spoke to several farmers. My only request to farmers is that clause-wise discussion should be done & not seek 'yes' or 'no' answer. We will find a resolution: Defence Minister https://t.co/qMQ1oIVR4W— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2020
Last month, the Canadian prime minister expressed concern over the ongoing farmers' protests in India. Addressing members of the Sikh community through a video conference on Gurpurab (the birthday of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak) on 30 November, Trudeau remarked that the protests by farmers in India were "concerning".
“We are all very worried about family and friends. 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 Canadian prime minister stated.
Sikhs comprise nearly 1.4 percent of the Canadian population, with many having close links to their home state of Punjab in India.
The northern Indian state has emerged as the epicentre of the ongoing agricultural protests against the new reform laws passed by the Narendra Modi-led federal government in September.
Thousands of farmers from the states of Punjab and Haryana have been protesting for the past month on Delhi's borders. They want a complete rollback of the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
The laws were passed by the Indian parliament in September. Another round of talks are scheduled to be held on Wednesday between the central government and representatives of the protesting farmers' unions.