A BJP parliamentarian triggered a row in Rajasthan on Wednesday by calling some protesters taking part in the farmers’ agitation ”terrorists”, with the party’s state unit justifying her comments.
In a video clip on social media, Dausa MP Jaskaur Meena is heard purportedly referring to the new agri-marketing laws and the protest over them by farmers camping at Delhi’s border.
Terrorists are sitting there and the terrorists have AK-47s with them. They have pitched the Khalistan flag, she is heard saying. The MP was unavailable on phone for comment.
Meena’s statement drew criticism from the ruling Congress in the state, which said people in Rajasthan are ashamed that they voted for her. State Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra said the BJP’s vision was limited to getting into power, alleging that its veterans did not even want to liberate India from the British.
“The BJP has always been an anti-farmer party, he claimed. In an apparent reference to strikes against Pakistan after terror attacks in India, he said, “In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP leaders won due to the valour of the army.
Now, people of Rajasthan are feeling ashamed that they voted for a leader with such a narrow mindset, he added, apparently referring to Meena’s victory. But state BJP spokesperson Ramlal Sharma justified her comment.
“MP Meena’s feelings were not wrong. She wanted to say that the kind of flags and slogans being raised at the farmers protest is wrong. Some people have entered the protest in the name of farmers,” he claimed. He said the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is concerned about the welfare of farmers and is holding talks with them to resolve the issue.
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been camping at Delhi’s border for weeks seeking the repeal of the central laws enacted last September. Farmer unions claim that the laws weaken the minimum support price (MSP) system. But the government says they provide more options for farmers to sell their crops.