The BJP-led government at the centre has the best interests of farmers in mind, actor-politician Sunny Deol said on Sunday, defending his party amid the massive protests that have erupted against the centre’s new agricultural laws.
The actor also distanced himself from actor-turned-activist Deep Siddhu who had campaigned for him in the 2019 elections and who joined the farmers’ protests before being cast out over allegations that he was backing the separatist movement for Khalistan, a separate state for Sikhs.
“I request the whole world that it is a matter between our farmers and the government. Do not come between them, because both will find a way after discussions. I know that many people want to take advantage of the situation and are creating problems. They are not thinking of farmers. They may have their own agenda,” Sunny Deol said in a statement in Hindi on Twitter.
“Deep Siddhu, who was with me during the election has not been with me for a long time and whatever he is speaking, he is saying on his own. I am in no way related to his activities. I stand with my party and farmers and will always be with farmers. Our government always thinks of the betterment of farmers and I am sure that the government will ensure the right outcome after holding talks with farmers,” he added.
Sunny Deol, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Punjab’s Gurdaspur last year after joining the BJP in April, has faced prickly questions about his stand on the farmers’ protest that has been spearheaded mostly by growers from the agrarian state.
The 64-year-old who is currently staying in Himachal Pradesh’s Manali has been in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus. Mr Deol is the third in his family to join politics. His father Dharmendra was a BJP MP. His stepmother Hema Malini is also a BJP lawmaker.
The central government failed on Saturday to break a deadlock with the farmers protesting the agricultural reforms and will meet again on Wednesday, the agriculture minister and union leaders said.
Thousands of farmers have been demonstrating against the laws, which they say threaten their livelihoods, by camping on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi and blocking highways.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the new laws are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce.