“Had They Stayed Home, They Would Have Died Anyway”: BJP Minister On Deaths In Farmers’ Protest

The Haryana agriculture minister, hours after making the statement, said he has seen “twisted” statements but also apologised if he had hurt anybody.

Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal on Saturday, in a controversial statement on the deaths of farmers during the protest against the centre’s new farm laws, said they would have died even if they had stayed back home. After his remarks were faced with massive backlash, he later apologised.

These remarks were made by Mr Dalal in Haryana’s Bhiwani in response to a reporter’s query over the “death of 200 farmers”.

“Wouldn’t they have died if they were at home? Had they been at their homes, they would have died there also. Out of one to two lakh, do 200 people not die in six months?” Mr Dalal asked, cracking up his supporters around and joining in with a smile.

Mr Dalal, once again with a smile, triggering laughter, said: “Someone is dying of a heart attack and someone after falling ill… They died of their own will. I have my deepest sympathies for them.”

The Haryana agriculture minister, hours after making the statement, said he has seen “twisted” statements, attributed to him, on social media. Mr Dalal said “wrong meaning” was given to his statements.

“If anybody is hurt by it, I tender my apology,” he said. The minister added that he would continue to work for farmers’ welfare, stressing that it is painful if anyone dies.

Attacking Mr Dalal over his remarks, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said such a statement can only be made by an “insensitive” person.

“These words can only be used by an insensitive man for agitating ”annadatas”,” said Mr Surjewala in a tweet.

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