Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka on Thursday slammed the newly-appointed Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi after her "they are hooligans" remark. The farmer leader said the minister's remark is an insult to 80 crore farmers of India. "If we're hooligans, Meenakshi Lekhi ji should stop eating food grains grown by us. She should be ashamed of herself. We've passed a resolution in Farmers' Parliament condemning her statement," news agency ANI quoted Kakka as saying.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait also condemned Lekhi's remark. "Hooligans are the ones who have nothing. It is wrong to make such remarks for farmers. We are farmers, not hooligans. Farmers are 'anndatas' of the land," news agency ANI quoted Tikait as saying.
Earlier, the Union minister had termed the farmers as hooligans after a journalist was reportedly attacked at the 'Kisan Sansad'. According to reports, a video journalist who was covering the 'Kisan Sansad' at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, was beaten by a camera stand. The journalist suffered injuries and was taken to a hospital, the reports said.
"They are not farmers, they are hooligans... These are criminal acts. What happened on January 26 was also shameful criminals activities. Opposition promoted such activities," Meenakshi Lekhi said after the alleged incident.
Meanwhile, a group of 200 farmers reached the Jantar Mantar amid multi-layer security on Thursday to launch their agitation against the Centre's contentious three farm laws.
On the first day of the 'Kisan Sansad', the protesting farmers held discussions on the Mandi Act, rollback of the three farm laws, besides demanding that MPs should discuss the farmers' issues during the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
The Kisan Sansad was divided into three sessions with each having a separate topic.
Rakesh Tikait said, "Today we have issued a whip to all the MPs to raise the issue of farm laws in the Parliament. If they don't raise our issues, the farmers will protest against them in their respective parliamentary constitutes."
He said the farmers have gathered at the Jantar Mantar to run a parallel 'Sansad', because the farm issues are not being discussed in the Parliament.
Several non-BJP MPs, especially from the southern part of the counrtry, came to show their solidarity with the agitating farmers, echoing their demand to repeal the three farm laws.
"We have come here to make our voice more strong. The people of this country are aware of what the farmers have gone through in the past few months," Tikait added.
(With IANS inputs)