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Days before UK Parliament to debate India's 'farm laws', Jaishankar talks to his counterpart Raab

WebdeskMar 04, 2021, 11:33 AM IST

Days before UK Parliament to debate India's 'farm laws', Jaishankar talks to his counterpart Raab

New Delhi: In what is seen as a crucial development in diplomatic parlance, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held telephonic talks with British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab on Wednesday. "Nice talking to UK Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab. Reviewed the progress in our bilateral cooperation. Also discussed regional and UN issues," the Minister tweeted. Importantly, the interaction comes days before the British House of Commons is likely to take up for debate the issue of press freedom and safety of protesters in India on March 8, Monday. The debate has been scheduled in response to an e-petition that has been endorsed by over 100,000-signatories. Reports said the 90-minute debate will be held at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament complex in London and will be opened by a Scottish National Party lawmaker. Of course, the debate will also have a response or reply from an incumbent minister. The Social Network has gone viral with immediate responses to Dr Jaishankar's tweets. Of course, there is all speculation of what all transpired between two foreign ministers. "Extradite Mallya and Nirav Modi along with all Khalistanis if they want good relations with India," went a missive. ".....Crush the Khalistanis in the UK," went another tweet. MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava has said earlier that any protests (against three farm reform laws) must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the ongoing efforts of the Government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse. He also had maintained that the "temporary measures with regard to internet access" in certain parts of the National Capital Region were therefore understandably undertaken "to prevent further violence." It may be mentioned that the American Government had backed three farm laws. It also said that any protest must be seen as a "hallmark of any thriving democracy". Protesting farmers at Delhi border points since November last year have been demanding the central government to repeal three farm laws and provide legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for their crops. In fact, the criticism of the Modi government on farm laws has almost turned global from certain quarters. Even Barbadian pope star Rihanna Fenty had taken to social media to criticize the government over the farmers' struggle, which the government has repeatedly insisted is India's internal matter. Violence and utter callousness on the Republic Day on Jan 26 at the Red Fort premises marked the protest. A number of activists have been charged and some of them have been arrested as well.

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