In a bizarre statement, Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal on Wednesday blamed "foreign powers like China and Pakistan" for the ongoing farmers' protest across the country against the new Central farm laws.
"This is not about farmers. There are many foreign powers like China and Pakistan who want to destabilise (the country) in the name of farmers," Dalal told media persons while reacting on the farmers camping at the entry points to Delhi at Haryana border.
The BJP leader went on the extent to wish for "good sense" for the protesting farmers while justifying the three farm laws that farmers fear would push the agriculture sector into the grip of corporate houses.
The new laws brought by Modi ji are in interests of farmers. But still, if anyone feels that the laws are bad, they should wait for at lest one year or two and if they find the laws as problematic, then they can protest and we will accept their demands. I hope God gives good sense to the farmers," Dalal told the media in Hisar.
Criticizing farmers camping at Delhi-Haryana borders for threatening to choke Delhi, the BJP leader said farmers should work with wisdom and have a dialogue, adding that Delhi is the country's capital and not "Lahore or Karachi."
"I appeal to farmers to work with wisdom and have a dialogue. It is not a good thing if they stop the water of Delhi, block borders. It is not Lahore or Karachi, it is the capital of the country," he said.
AAP attacks BJP on Dalal's remarks
Reacting to Dalal's comments, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer if farmers are traitors in India.
"See this, Dalal Saheb of the BJP is saying that Pakistan and China are behind the farmer movement. 'Modi ji, is the farmer a traitor of the country? Is he agitating against the country together with Pakistan and China? How much insult is the country's farmer going to tolerate now?," Times Now quoted Singh as saying.
Khalistanis in protests: Khattar
Before this Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had claimed that his government had "inputs" on the presence of Khalistani separatists in the ongoing farmers' agitation.
"We have reports on some unwanted elements in the crowd. We will disclose the details once we get some solid evidence," Khattar had told media persons on being asked about the alleged involvement of separatists in the protests.
Hundreds of thousands of farmers in several states especially states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala are protesting the Central laws, demanding its rollback. The farmers say that the laws will hurt their incomes even as the government has maintained they will enhance them.
They also fear that the government will gradually repeal the minimum support price of produce and denotify government mandis, and will replace existing middlemen with more powerful corporate entities.
Thousands of farmers are protesting at the borders of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, blocking major entry points to the national capital. The Central government has held one round of talks yesterday and the next round is scheduled for December 3.