The newly appointed MOS for External Affairs, Meenakashi Lekhi, has begun her ministerial stint by stirring a controversy. She apparently slammed protesting farmers as ‘mawali’ . Later after furore, she retracted the statement saying that her comments were ‘twisted’. “My words have been twisted and tweaked. But if they have hurt anyone, I take my words back,” Lekhi said in a video posted on her official Twitter account.
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 the 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.”
She also cited the violent incidents in the national capital during farmers’ protest on January 26, and said these protestors should not be called farmers.
Replying to another question about the attack on the camera person, who works with a leading Hindi news channel, and also the January 26 incidents, she said, “You are calling them farmers again. They are mawali.”