India on Tuesday strongly reacted to comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other leaders regarding the farmers' protest, calling the remarks "ill-informed" and "unwarranted" as the matter pertained to the internal affairs of a democratic country. "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," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
In a terse message, the ministry further added that "it is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes." In a video posted on his Twitter account, Trudeau said, "The situation is concerning and we are all very worried about family and friends and I know that is a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest."
Addressing the Indian community in Canada during an online event on Monday to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Trudeau said he would be remiss if he didn't recognise the "news coming out of india about the protest by farmers."
He also said, "We believe in the importance of dialogue and that is why we have reached out through multiple means directly to Indian authorities to highlight our concerns."
Extending his greetings on Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary, Trudeau said that it is really an "important time to come together even more so this year than normal because COVID-19 is keeping us all separate." Canada is home to a large number of Indian migrants, mostly from Punjab.
Thousands of farmers have stayed put at various Delhi border points for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday protesting against the new farm laws by the Indian government, which they fear will dismantle the minimum support price system and corporatise farming.
The farmer unions on Tuesday attended a meeting with the government after they were invited by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for talks, two days ahead of a scheduled meeting.