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'Vote Bank Politics': India Summons British Envoy Over UK Parl Debate on Farmers' Protest

File photo of farmers taking part in a protest against new farm laws in Patiala. (PTI)

File photo of farmers taking part in a protest against new farm laws in Patiala. (PTI)

Foreign secretary conveyed strong opposition to the unwarranted and tendentious discussion on the changes in farming sector.

India on Tuesday summoned the British High Commissioner over the UK Parliament debate on agricultural reforms in the country. The foreign secretary conveyed strong opposition to the unwarranted and tendentious discussion on the changes in the farming sector.

“Foreign Secretary made clear that this represented a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country. He advised that British MPs should refrain from practising vote bank politics by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to another fellow democracy,” India said in a statement.

Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, since November 28, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price for their crops.

In its statement, the Indian mission also pointed out that foreign media, including British media, had been present and witnessed the events surrounding the farmers’ protests in India first-hand and therefore any question of lack of freedom of the media in India does not arise. It lamented that a false narrative over farmers’ protest was sought to be developed even though the High Commission of India has been, over a period of time, taking care to inform all concerned about the issues raised in the petition.

The High Commission said it was compelled to react to the lawmakers’ debate due to the apprehensions cast on India. The High Commission of India would normally refrain from commenting on an internal discussion involving a small group of Honourable Parliamentarians in a limited quorum, the statement said. However, when aspersions are cast on India by anyone, irrespective of their claims of friendship and love for India or domestic political compulsions, there is a need to set the record straight, it added.

first published:March 09, 2021, 19:19 IST