Nefarious design behind farmers’ agitation: Shazia Ilmi
BJP National spokesperson Shazia Ilmi has come down heavily on critics of prime minister Narendra Modi and said that a false narrative is being set to discredit the government, belittling the PM and claiming that democratic institutions are in grave danger.
“Truth cannot be expunged. We finally know Deep Sidhu had been sent there and there was a nefarious design behind farmers’ tractor rally,” said Ilmi. She was responding to a question if the BJP has evidence to support its claims that farmers' agitation has been propelled by an international conspiracy.
While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform, she said that despite assurances by farmers that the tractor rally will be peaceful, everyone saw they did wreak mayhem. She said that after Greta Thunberg accidentally posted a ‘protest toolkit’ on Twitter, deleted it, and then reedited it there were several more edits and re-edits done on it.
“You realize that there was an exact plan in place to discredit this government. Farmers have been used as a proxy to spread lies by politically motivated elements within the farmer community. Facts have been twisted and mangled to give a preplanned narrative.”
Ilmi said that many people, who pick on the government to say that it did not hold any consultations and that the new farm-related Acts have come as a rude shock to Indian farmers, do not mention that the demand to remove the APMCs have been there for long. She said that even though the law has not removed APMCs it has also provided the choice of an alternative and free market. She also said that a large portion of farmers may be misguided as they are being told that they will lose their land, there will be no MSP, no mandis etc. “Yeh wahi ‘hai tauba’ hai jo CAA, NRC ke wakt mein thi” (This is the same ‘Oh My God!’ which was there during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens).
The former journalist and news anchor further said that when the false narrative of driving out Muslims, who are a large minority, from the country did not work, factionists have now resorted to use farmers to their advantage. She said she wanted to know which country is taking them in, which country is driving them out and which country is asking for papers. Indian Muslims, she said, are a large minority and CAA does not even make a mention of Muslim community but speaks of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists who are from Muslim countries. “The law does not mention Indian Muslims at all but they have been used for propaganda against Modi government.
“When that did not work they are now using farmers to their advantage. Despite several discussions being held with the farmers and even in parliament … in Punjab many farmers have sold thousands of quintals of wheat at 1.5 times of MSP but there is no mention of it. This is being done on purpose with the involvement of international elements to destabilize the country,” said Ilmi.
While damning Modi critics for using derogatory words against him, Ilmi said when she was a journalist, news was only about scams and corruption and every minister, ministry and department had serious charges of corruption leveled against them all those years. There are no scams and charges of corruption against any Modi government minister since the BJP came to power.
Ilmi said being a soldier of good governance she was proud to be a member of the BJP and never had to compromise on the very reasons she joined politics. “As an Indian Muslim woman, I can say that when it comes to the central agencies and the government there has been no discrimination in the implementation of schemes. Nobody can say that a Dalit man or a Muslim woman has been discriminated against in any state on the basis of caste or religion.”