Union Minister VK Singh has questioned the legitimacy of the ongoing farmers' protests in Delhi, saying thousands of men and women protesting the Centre's new farm laws "do not appear to be farmers". The minister of road transport and highways said the opposition and 'those who take commission' are involved in the protests.
"Many of the people in pictures do not appear to be farmers. What is in the interest of farmers has been done. It's not the farmers who have a problem with this (farm laws), but others. Besides opposition, people who get commission are behind it (protest)," Singh told news agency ANI.
After Singh's comments, Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit back and asked if they needed to "come with plough and oxen to appear like farmers" to protest on roads.
Netizens also reacted to Singh's comments and asked him not to trivialise the farmers' situation.
@OfficeOfVKS Do not trivialise the farmer situation. The present dispensation is a dishonest in all its motives. Do not worry KARMAs will catch sooner than later— KBTM (@KbTm144) December 1, 2020
@Gen_VKSingh Ji Please don’t judge on photo. Come on ground to resolve the issue.— Amit Mishra (@AmitM009) December 2, 2020
Sir please do visit border once... I mean Delhi border...— REEMA (@Chaudhary_rt) December 1, 2020
Retd General sahab, this is as true as your date of birth.😁😁— WELL_FLR (@ftmtbatt) December 1, 2020
Sakal aur harkaton se tum bhi minister nahi lagte— ROHIT KUMAR (@Rohitksonkar) December 1, 2020
Previously, Bharatiya Janata Party's Information Technology Cell head Amit Malviya alleged the farmers' protests have "Khalistani and Maoist" links. He, however, did not provide any evidence to support his claims.
Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government has already notified the new Farm Laws on 23Nov20 and had started implementing them.— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 30, 2020
But now that the Khalistanis and Maoists have stepped in to oppose, he sees an opportunity to burn down Delhi.
It was never about farmers. Just politics... pic.twitter.com/s5gMq9z8oW
Last week, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told ANI that his government has "inputs" on the presence of Khalistani separatists in the ongoing farmers' agitation against the recently passed agriculture laws.
Meanwhile, Delhi's border points remained under heavy police deployment on Wednesday, with concrete barriers and multilayered barricades installed at most places, as protesting farmers continue their agitation against the Centre's new agri reform bills.
Yesterday, the government asked farmers' bodies to identify specific issues related to the three new farm laws and submit those by Wednesday for consideration and further discussion in the next round of talks on Thursday.