New Delhi: Union minister and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday (July 22) caused an uproar when she called farmers protesting here against the three farm laws as “mawali” (ruffian) after she was asked about incidents of alleged violence during their protests.
As her comments stirred a controversy, Lekhi later tweeted that her comments were “twisted” and that she withdraws her words if they have hurt anyone.
मेरे शब्दों को तोड़ा मरोड़ा गया है अगर इससे किसी को ठेस पहुँची है तो मैं अपने शब्द वापस लेती हूँ । pic.twitter.com/s98ezkskzl
— Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) July 22, 2021
At her press conference in BJP headquarters, a reporter referred to “farmers” attacking a camera person when he was covering their protests at Jantar Mantar, she said, “You should stop calling them farmers because they are not farmers.”
She continued, “They are playing in the hands of some conspirators. Farmers don’t have time to sit in Jantar Mantar. They are working in their farms. Middlemen are behind them (protestors) who do not want farmers to get benefits.”
Citing the violent incidents in Delhi during farmers’ protest on January 26, she said these protestors should not be called farmers.
Replying to another question on the January 26 incidents, she said, “You are calling them farmers again. They are mawali.”
The cameraperson was injured after he was allegedly attacked by a freelance journalist on Thursday at Jantar Mantar where the farmers are protesting against the new farm laws, police said.
The cameraperson has been identified as Nagendra Gosain, police said.
A senior police officer said Gosain was attacked by Prabhjot Singh, a freelance journalist.
Gosain said Singh was abusing mediapersons in the morning and was also recording it. Singh also used foul language against a woman journalist, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)