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No Foreign Govt Supports Farmers' Protest, Only 'Few Motivated' PIOs Backed It: Minister Tells Parliament

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan

AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel Syed had put forth a list of questions to the Ministry of External Affairs over the PIOs and countries, if any, which had given their support to the farmers' agitation in India.

The Centre on Wednesday told the Parliament that no foreign government supported the farmers' protest against the Centre's agricultural laws. However, it said that protests related to the laws by a "few motivated" persons of Indian origins (PIOs) had been reported in Canada, the UK, the US, and some European countries.

AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel Syed had put forth a list of questions to the Ministry of External Affairs over the PIOs and countries, if any, that had given their support to the agitation.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made a comment on issues related to the farmers and it was conveyed to Canada that such remarks pertaining to the internal affairs of India are "unwarranted" and "unacceptable".

The minister's response in Parliament came on a day when pop star Rihanna and global environmentalist Greta Thunberg lent support to the agitation. Later, several ministers claimed it was a part of 'international propaganda' meant to deface India and its government. The MEA had earlier released a statement saying celebrities tweeting on the farmers' protests were neither accurate nor responsible.

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"No foreign government has given support to the agitation of Indian farmers against three bills passed by Indian Parliament. In Canada, UK, USA, and in few European countries, protests by a few motivated PIOs on issues related to the Indian farm bill have been reported," he said.

The matter was taken up with the Canadian authorities both in Ottawa and New Delhi and conveyed that such comments pertaining to the "internal affairs of India are unwarranted, unacceptable and would damage India-Canada bilateral relations," the minister said on Trudeau's remarks.

In early December, Trudeau, backing the agitating farmers in India, had said that Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests, and expressed concern over the situation.

"Government of Canada has welcomed the Government of India's commitment to ongoing dialogue with the farmers to discuss issues of concern," Muraleedharan added.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting for more than two months at three border points on the outskirts of Delhi demanding a complete repeal of the contentious farm laws.