With thousands of farmers continuing their protest against the Centre's new agri laws, Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday said they were meant for the welfare of farmers and called their agitation apolitical.
Speaking to reporters, he said, "The new farm laws are meant for the welfare of farmers. After a long time the farmer is going to come out of a locked system. Whoever wants to oppose it politically let them do it. I have never said the farmers protest is political and would never say (that it is political)."
Shah has already appealed to the protesting farmers to shift to the Burari ground in the national capital to stage their protests and said the Centre was ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.
Replying to a query, Shah also criticised All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi over his reported remarks on the action the National Democratic Alliance government had taken over charges that Pakistanis, Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were illegally staying in Hyderabad.
Shah demanded that Owaisi give in writing that those staying illegally be removed and government initiate action against them.
"When I take action they (Owaisi and other parties) create ruckus in the Parliament. Have you not seen?" he asked.
"Let them once give me in writing to expel Rohingyas and Bangladeshis then I will initiate action. It should not just be a speech limited to elections. When there is discussion over the matter in the Parliament, who takes their side? the people of the country know it," Shah added.
Hitting back at Shah over his comments, Owaisi said, "He's the first minister in history who needs an MP's letter to do his job.
"His own party created these imaginary illegal intruders in Hyd & now he wants my approval to go after them? Like "400k termites" in Assam they exist only in Shah's childish imagination & only for elections," he tweeted.
During the poll campaign for December 1 city civic body polls, both the AIMIM and the BJP had engaged in heated exchange of words over alleged presence of illegal migrants in the old city.