Amarinder seeks Union minister’s resignation for calling farmers 'mawali'

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Chandigarh, Jul 22 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday demanded immediate resignation of Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi for dubbing the farmers protesting the Centre's three farm laws as “mawali”.

Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader for using derogatory language for the farmers, who have been agitating against the central farm laws for the past nearly eight months, the CM said it reflected the party's “anti-farmer” mindset.

Given the ruling party's alleged “brazen” attempts to “stifle” all voices of dissent and protest, the fact that it had failed to break the spirit of the farmers was clearly rankling, said Amarinder Singh in an official statement.

He lambasted the NDA government for its continued efforts to “suppress” every single voice that dares to speak against them as in the latest instance of the IT raids on the media outlets.

Lekhi on Thursday denounced farm unions protesting as 'mawali' (ruffian) after she was asked about incidents of alleged violence during their protests.

While the assault on the journalist at Jantar Mantar where the farmers are protesting the new agriculture laws was deplorable and action should be taken against the guilty, the Union minister's reaction was totally uncalled for and provocative, said the chief minister.

Lekhi had no right to 'defame' the farmers in such a manner, he said.

The BJP had no right to condemn the farmers in such an outrageous manner over the incident, he added.

Pointing to the “disparaging” comments made by various BJP leaders against the farmers since their agitation started at the Delhi borders, he said the ruling party had been trying to “malign” the farmers and undermine their peaceful protests from the outset.

Having failed to deter the farmers, who have been braving the elements with many losing their lives in this fight for their rights, the BJP leadership is once again resorting to such “shameful” tactics out of sheer frustration, said the chief minister. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK

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