On December 22, News24 tweeted a video reporting that BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri hurled expletives at protesting farmers. In the video, Bidhuri is heard saying, “There are 80 crore farmers in the country, and how many are sitting at the border? 500 in one place, 250 in another, and a group of 1500 somewhere else. So with this funding from Canada and Pakistan, the [bleep] — which every village has five to seven of — these [bleep] are the ones protesting.” (archived link)
— News24 (@news24tvchannel) December 22, 2020
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also promoted the same claim on Twitter.
जिस किसान ने खुद भूखे रहकर देश को खाना खिलाया, उसी किसान को भाजपा के सांसद ने गाली दी।
आखिर भाजपा ने अपनी औकात दिखा ही दी। pic.twitter.com/EnVfo3Svoy
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) December 22, 2020
AAP member Amit Mishra tweeted the clip expressing concern over farmers being disrespected. He asked whether the police would take action against the MP. (archived link)
भाजपा के सांसद ने किसानों और पंजाबियों को दिया गाली।
‘मुफ्त में खाने को मिल रहा है, पीने को पानी मिल रहा है, सोने के लिए रजाई मिल रहा है… “वह जो किसान बॉर्डर पर आंदोलन कर रहे हैं सब के सब भड़वे हैं” बीजेपी के सांसद रमेश बिधूड़ी
क्या सांसद जी के खिलाफ पुलिस कार्रवाई करेगी.? pic.twitter.com/sFhzv0rg6A
— Amit Mishra (@Amitjanhit) December 22, 2020
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajiv Rai’s tweet sharing the clip received more than one lakh views. (archived link)
आंदोलन कर रहे किसान भड़वे हैं: भाजपा सांसद
— Rajeev Rai (@RajeevRai) December 22, 2020
Alt News found a 17-minute video on BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s Facebook page posted on December 21. Its description says, “The political manifestos of opposition parties protesting the [farm] bill contain these same agriculture reform laws. They are wrongly claiming that the Modi government came up with them.”
The last part of the clip, specifically after the 16:20 mark, is the portion that contains the purported derogatory comment directed at the farmers — “There aren’t 4,000 farmers in the country, but 80 crore. How many farmers are there? 80 crore. And how many are sitting at the borders protesting? Somewhere 500, somewhere 250 and half a thousand. So with money coming from Canada and Pakistan, a handful of loafers from every village is here because they are getting hot food, clean water, and good quality blankets for free with calls to remove Modi from power. That’s why those people are sitting out there, brothers and sisters.” In this section, the word ‘thalua’ (loafer/ someone who has time to waste) has been deemed abusive.
However, in the same video, 16 minutes prior to this portion, Bidhuri says, “We must resolve to tell farmers that 4,000 -5,000 middlemen are threatening to block Delhi. They are aiming their guns on the shoulders of farmers. There are 80 crore farmers in the country, not 4,000.”
While Bidhuri did not abuse the farmers, he used derogatory language against them. Lakhs of farmers agitating against the centre’s farm legislation were termed ‘cheaters’ by the BJP MP. Moreover, he kept stressing on the number 4,000 even as the number of people protesting at Singhu border is several times higher.
जो विपक्षी दल आज बिल का विरोध कर रहे हैं उनके अगर पिछले चुनाव के घोषणा पत्र उठा लिए जाएं तो उनमें इन्हीं सुधार कानूनों का जिक्र मिलेगा, वो केवल घोषणा करते थे मोदी सरकार ने यह कर दिखाया |
कालकाजी विधानसभा में यात्रा समाप्ति के दौरान सम्बोधन करते हुए।#ModiWithFarmers
Posted by Ramesh Bidhuri on Monday, December 21, 2020
Multiple other leaders of the BJP, including Priti Gandhi and Puneet Aggarwal, have tried to push a similar narrative to discredit the protest. They falsely claimed that farmers at the border were waving Pakistani flags and raising pro-Khalistan slogans.
In conclusion, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri did not hurl expletives at protesting farmers. But he did term them ‘loafers’ suggesting that the protesters have nothing better to do and have gathered in the national capital for ‘freebies’. He also branded them as ‘middlemen’ funded by Pakistan to topple the Narendra Modi government.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.