Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday sparked a diplomatic spat between New Delhi and Ottawa after he voiced support for Indian farmers, saying that his country was in talks with the BJP-led government on the issue.
According to India Today, the premier was speaking to Sikh Canadians via a video link on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
For the past few weeks, more than 300,000 farmers from India’s Punjab province have been staging protests in Delhi against the government’s new central farm laws. Farmers opine that the legislation contains “contentious provisions” and are demanding the government revise it as it goes against their interests.
“We are all very worried about family and friends [in India],” PM Trudeau said, “Canada always stood for peaceful protests and would continue to defend the rights of peaceful protesters.”
The premier continued: “We believe in the process of dialogue. We’ve reached out through multiple means to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a moment for all of us to pull together.”
According to the report, Canada has a huge population from the Sikh community, and many of its members hold important ministers in the Canadian cabinet.
India did not like Trudeau’s comments very much as external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country. It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes,” he said.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi took to Twitter and said, “touched by your concern but India’s internal issue is not fodder for another nation’s politics. Please respect the courtesies that we always extend to other nations.”