After flak over yoga, Union Agriculture Minister puts off China visit

After flak over yoga, Union Agriculture Minister puts off China visit
After getting flak for turning up at a yoga camp in Bihar when Madhya Pradesh was on the boil over farmers' stir, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has postponed his forthcoming visit to China.

An official statement said Singh decided to be available "for the purpose of every possible help to farmers in the current environment and in the policy decisions by the state governments for the interests of farmers’ welfare."

Singh was to take the flight to Beijing on June 15 morning to attend the three-day meeting of the BRICS agriculture cooperative group. India will now be represented by the secretary, department of agriculture cooperation and farmers welfare, the statement said.

At a three-day yoga event organised by Baba Ramdev in Motihari on June 8, Singh was seen doing yoga in his company.

When reporters questioned him about the five farmers who were killed in Mandasur, he had replied, “Yoga kijiye (practice yoga).”

As criticism grew over Singh's action,  the BJP sought to defend itself, saying his visit to Bihar was pre-planned and that he was monitoring the situation in Madhya Pradesh where farmers had been protesting since June 1 demanding loan waivers and fair prices for their produce. The agitation took a violent turn after five of them died in police firing.

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