Clarifying his stand after he was caught on the wrong foot, Haryana agriculture minister OP Dhankar on Wednesday said his remark on farmers' suicides was presented in a distorted manner.
Interacting with media in New Delhi, Dhankar dismissed the criticism against his Tuesday's comment that the farmers who ended their lives were cowards and held that Haryana was a land of brave, where an act of suicide was neither accepted, nor promoted nor encouraged.
On being repeatedly asked about his Tuesday's statement, he asked the reporters to see the statement in entirity ((totality) and not to indulge in presenting it in a cut-and-paste manner. "Nimboo ka ras bhi dhikhaye, sirf chhilaka nahi (show the lemon juice too and not only its skin)," he said.
AlSO READ:Haryana minister Dhankar says farmers committing suicide cowards, 'land of brave' doesn't honour them
"Haryana ke kisan faujiyon ke baap hain jo sine pe goli khate hain, Haryana veer-bhoomi hai, Haryana ke log thade hain aur atmahatya jaisa rasta nahin apnate, Haryana ki bhoomi atmahatya karane valon ka samman nahin karati hai, isliye Haryana mein atmahatya ko achcha nahin mana jata, jo bhi atmahatya karata hai voh apni jimmevari chhod kar, apne chhote chhote nadaan bachchon par aur apni patni par apna bojhh transfer kar ke chala jataa hai (farmers of Haryana were more brave than even soldiers who laid their lives for nation, they are largehearted and never opted the path of suicide nor did Haryana approve of suicide by any farmer who by doing so, ended up transferring all his burden onto his innocent children and wife.", he said.
The remark of Dhankar had triggered a controversy with even AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi taking up the issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
This is not the very first time that Dhankar has courted controversy for his comments. In August last year too, his comment that `He would get brides from Bihar for the bachelors in Haryana'' had evoked criticism.
Later, he clarified and said it was illegal and inhuman to purchase brides from other places like Bihar and he would ensure that the problem was addressed by doing it in a dignified and respectful manner that is by marrying girls of other states.
Read: CLP leader Kiran Choudhry seeks Dhankar's apology
INLD reacts on Dhankar's comment
Reacting on the comment, The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) president Ashok Arora said,``Such comments would only add to the plight of the farmers who were burdened with continuous debts and were forced to take the extreme step when their crops got ruined."
He asked the state government to immediately give financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the farmers who had committed suicide or had died of shock because of complete damage to their crops,
Arora said that INLD stood with farmers with the state in this difficult time.
CLP leader Kiran Choudhry seeks Dhankar's apology
Leader of the Haryana Congress legislature party (CLP), Kiran Choudhry, accused Dhankar of displaying egregious insensitivity with his remarks that 'farmers who commit suicide are cowards and criminals and sought said that he should render public apology and must withdraw his remarks.
She said, "He crossed all limits of insensitivity that too, at a time when the farmers across the state were suffering; it was quite unbecoming of a person who held a Cabinet rank."
Meanwhile, Haryana Janhit Congress MLA from Hansi Renuka Bishnoi also flayed Dhankar's comment terming it to be irresponsible and insensitive towards farmers.