INDIA

Lakhimpur Violence Condemnable, But All Issues Should Be Raised Equally: Sitharaman

Mumbai: Responding to a question during a conversation at US’ Harvard Kennedy School, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the violence in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri is “absolutely condemnable”.

However, such incidents are happening in many parts of India “equally”, Sitharaman stated.

Asked why there was no response from the prime minister or senior ministers in the government on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed on October 3, Sitharaman said, “It is good for you. That one incident which is absolutely condemnable, that’s what we all say. Similar incidents are happening in other places too, it is my concern.”

“India has issues of such nature happening in very many different parts of the country equally. I would like you, and many others, including Dr Amartya Sen, who all know India, to raise it every time when it happens, not just raise it when it suits us because it’s a state where BJP is in power, one of my cabinet colleague’s son is in probably trouble, and also assume that it’s actually them who did it and not anybody else. Due course of justice will also have a complete inquiry process to establish it,” she further said.

Justifying the agriculture laws, against which thousands of farmers are protesting, Sitharaman said the three Acts were in the discussion stage for almost a decade and the government had consulted all concerned stakeholders before finalizing the draft.

Sitharaman further said that the bills were discussed at every level in the government before they were passed by the Parliament.

Sge said, “When the Agriculture Act was brought in the Lok Sabha, it was discussed in detail and the Agriculture Minister also gave his reply. When it came to the Rajya Sabha, there was a lot of noise.

The Finance Minister reiterated that the government is ready to discuss the matter with the farmers and is asking the farmer bodies about the specific issues of their Acts. However, she said that farmers have not been able to point out a particular aspect which is being questioned.

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