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"Vote Bank Politics": Modi govt on UK Parliament debating farmers protest

The BJP, which is leading the government in India accuses its political opponents back home, especially the Congress, of indulging in "vote bank" politics

Tuesday March 9, 2021 11:58 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

UK Parliament Debate

New Delhi/Lodon: The Narendra Modi government Tuesday took a strong stand against the UK Parliament over its unwarranted discussion on the controversial agri laws against which farmers are protesting since last more than 100 days.

The UK Parliament debated the farmers protest Monday and expressed its concern over what the UK MPs called "gross violation" and use of force against the peaceful protesters.

"Water cannons and tear gas and repeated clashes between police and farmers and interruption in internet connectivity have been matters of concern," SNP MP Martin Day said.

He also said that several farmers had reportedly taken their own lives.

"Gross interference"

The Narendra Modi government however called the UK parliament debate "interference" in the internal matter of a "democratic" country and summoned the British envoy in New Delhi.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, the government said that Foreign Secretary Harsha Shringla has summoned the British High Commissioner besides conveying strong opposition to the unwarranted and tendentious discussion on the agricultural reforms in India in the British Parliament.

The Foreign Secretary made it clear that this represented a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country. He advised that British MPs should refrain from practicing vote bank politics by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to a fellow democracy.

The BJP, which is leading the government in India accuses its political opponents back home, especially the Congress, of indulging in "vote bank" politics. The same allegation it is using against the British MPs.

This is when BJP's own politics revolves around appeasing and making happy its core vote bank which mainly comprises of hardline Hindus.

"India's Internal matter, but....."

Ahead of the UK parliament debating the farmers’ protest on Monday, the new UK envoy to India said that though the matter remains an “internal issue” for India it still impacts politics back home due to the presence of the large diaspora.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, British high commissioner to India, Alex Ellis said:

“I think the foreign secretary (Dominic Raab) said it when he was here ‘your politics is our politics’ – in other words, things that happen in India have ripples in the UK partly because you have such a big diaspora community in the UK, so these things get debated.”

Over 100 UK parliamentariansin January this year had written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, expressing their concern over the agitation of farmers in India. Since then they have been demanding a debate on the issue.


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