The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday slammed Canada's stand on farmers' protests in India as "nothing but hypocrisy", saying it is a strident critic of minimum support price and other agricultural policies at the World Trade Organisation, and often questions India's domestic agricultural measures, including food and livelihood security.
"It (Canada) also opposes import restrictions to protect India's farmers. The questions posed by Canada to India regarding India's agri policies in WTO are evidence of the fact that Canada has scarce interest in the genuine well-being of Indian farmers and agriculture producers," BJP's foreign affairs department in-charge Vijay Chauthaiwale tweeted.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had recently backed the agitating farmers in India, saying his country will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests.
He had expressed concern over the situation.
Reacting strongly, India on Friday summoned Canadian high commissioner Nadir Patel and told him that the comments made by Trudeau and others in his cabinet on the protests were an "unacceptable interference" in the country's internal affairs and these actions, if continued, will have a "seriously damaging" impact on bilateral ties.
In a series of tweets tagging Trudeau and Patel, Chauthaiwale said, "Canada's criticism of India on farmer's issues is nothing but hypocrisy. Canada is strident critic of MSP and other agriculture policies at the WTO, and often questions India's domestic agriculture measures including food and livelihood security."
Noting that Canada is a member of the Cairns Group of agri exporters, he said the body's objective in WTO negotiations is to seek increased market access in countries like India.
It also seeks reduction in the agri subsidies provided to domestic producers, even if such subsidies are subsistence-level, he said.
"It also opposes import restrictions to protect India's farmers. The questions posed by Canada to India regarding India's agri policies in WTO are evidence of the fact that Canada has scarce interest in the genuine well-being of Indian farmers and agriculture producers," the BJP leader said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given topmost priority to enhance farmers' income by increasing minimum support price, giving better access to technology and providing adequate insurance cover for agri products against natural calamities, he said, adding that "Unfortunately, Canada has refused to acknowledge it".