Bulldozer row reaches UK as MPs slam Boris Johnson’s JCB factory trip during India visit
London, Apr 30: The Opposition parties in the UK have questioned in Parliament Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to visit a British-owned bulldozer factory in Gujarat during his visit to India last week.
A number of Labour Party MPs, including Indian-origin Nadia Whittome, questioned Johnson's visit to the JCB factory in Halol despite the use of some of the company's equipment in the controversial demolition of properties in north-west Delhi in the wake of recent communal clashes in Jahangirpuri.
Speaking in the UK's House of Commons, Labour MP for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome, questioned if Prime Minister Johnson's recent visit to India had helped legitimise the demolitions carried out by the BJP-led administrations in various states.
"The BJP (Modi's governing party) is using JCB diggers to bulldoze the homes and shops of Muslims. Boris Johnson posed with JCB diggers on his recent visit to India, but his minister wouldn't say whether he even raised these demolitions with Modi," she said.
The BJP (Modi’s governing party) is using JCB diggers to bulldoze the homes and shops of Muslims.— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) April 28, 2022
Boris Johnson posed with JCB diggers on his recent visit to India, but his minister wouldn't say whether he even raised these demolitions with Modi. pic.twitter.com/aIWVw5TLIl
"We know that during the Prime Minister's visit, he was photographed leaning out of a digger in a JCB factory. Just days before the BJP used JCB bulldozers to bulldoze Muslim shops and homes and the gate of a mosque in New Delhi," Ms Whittome said.
"Did the Prime Minister raise this with (Prime Minister) Modi. If not, why not? And does the Minister accept that the Prime Minister's visit to India has helped legitimise the actions of Modi's far-right government?"
Zarah Sultana, MP from Coventry South, also raised the issue in the UK Parliament and said Johnson's visit to the JCB factory "shows how much he really cares about human rights".
"Boris Johnson failed to challenge Modi on the BJP whipping-up anti-Muslim violence during his trip to India. Instead he visited a JCB factory the day after the company's bulldozers demolished Muslim homes in Delhi," tweeted Sultana.
with PTI inputs