“Some elements that are using this farmers’ movement to defame them and take the agenda to another angle,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
As more number of people and celebrities are supporting the farmers’ protest and escalating the protest in and around the national capital, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has alleged that images of “a person who supports the Naxalite movement” was seen during the farmers’ protests.
“I’m not speaking of all farmers and farmer organisations, but I want to ask you something. In our Gadchiroli district, near Nagpur, in Vidarbha, a person who supports the Naxalite movement was investigated. The court also did not grant him bail. How did his photo appear in this movement? What is his link to farming and farmers?” Mr Gadkari said in an interview with NDTV.
The minister alleged that “some elements that are using this farmers’ movement to defame them and take the agenda to another angle”.
“Someone who gave anti-national speeches, someone who has no direct or indirect links with farmers, how did his photo appear? So I said there are some elements that are using this farmers’ movement to defame them and take the agenda to another angle. This is not the agenda of farmers and farmer organizations.
Farmers should stay away from that. That’s all,” he said. Mr. Gadkari made the remarks when he was questioned if the center could have held talks with farmers before the farms bills were passed, rather than trying to negotiate after the bills were passed.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on December 11, that there is “evidence” that the ongoing farmers’ protest has been “overtaken” by the “tukde-tukde gang”.
He said that that the negotiations between the government and farmers’ unions failed because of a “sinister design” and that the evidence for that was the presence of posters in support of Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, Gautam Navlakha and others at the farmers’ protest.
Farmers in large numbers have been protesting, camping on the outskirts of Delhi since late November. They have been demanding the withdrawal of the three contentious farm laws that they say will leave them at the mercy of private buyers and slash their income.
The talks between the government and the agitated farmers have failed as the farmers repeatedly rejected the center’s proposals offering amendments in the agricultural laws.