CHANDIGARH: Actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, who has been accused by farm bodies of trying to defame their agitation and termed a "traitor", has hit out at farm leaders for allegedly spreading false propaganda and hatred against him.
The 36-year-old Sidhu, who is in the eye of a storm for being among the protesters who put up a religious flag atop the Red Fort on Republic Day, claimed that youth did not agree to follow the route which was decided by farmer leaders and the Delhi Police.
He claimed people "on their own" marched towards the Red Fort from all the Delhi borders on January 26 and that not many people took the route as decided by farmer leaders.
Slamming the farm leadership for accusing him of being a "BJP and RSS man", he said, "Will RSS or BJP's man put up the 'Nishan Sahib' and a farmer flag at Red Fort? At least think over it".
Sidhu was present at the Red Fort when a religious flag and a farmer flag were put at the flagpole at the historic monument, triggering massive outrage.
He sought to dismiss the claims of several farmer leaders who accused him of inciting protesters to head towards the Red Fort during the farmers' tractor parade January 26.
"I am seeing that false propaganda and hatred is being spread against me," Sidhu charged in the latest video uploaded on his Facebook post.
Sharing details about what happened on the night of January 25, Sidhu said youth and many people had told farmer leaders that they (farm leaders) had invited them to hold a protest inside Delhi on January 26 and that they had now changed their stand at the last moment.
Sidhu said he reached the Red Fort after its gate was broken.
Thousands of people had reached there, but there was "no farmer leader" present there, said Sidhu while claiming that nobody indulged in violence or damaged any public property.
They put up the 'Nishan Sahib' and a farmer flag at the flagpole to register their protest, said Sidhu adding that many people were carrying 'Nishan Sahib' flags, farmer flags and the tricolour.
"If you say by doing so I have turned traitor then those who were present there were traitors too," said Sidhu.
"If you impose all these things on one person and give him a certificate of traitor then I think you should be ashamed of yourself," said Sidhu.
"Had our farmer leadership and each person taken a stand and said that look, what our farmers had done and if the rights of these farmers are not given, then these farmers can do anything, there would have been a huge pressure on the government," he said.
"But I was given a traitor certificate by our own men," he rued.
Farmer leaders on Wednesday had called Sidhu as a "traitor" and had given a call for his boycott in the state.
They had also dubbed him as an "agent" of the government.
Sidhu said "lakhs of people" could not come on the call of only one person, while rubbishing the accusation of farmer leaders that he had incited people to head towards the Red Fort.
Stating that he did not bring any disrepute to the farmers' agitation, Sidhu further accused the farmer leaders of being "arrogant" and said that they wanted whatever decisions they take should be accepted by all.
"You are so jealous and so arrogant that you do not listen to anyone. Whatever decision is taken must be accepted by all," he said, adding, "If I reveal deep secrets, then there will be no way to flee (for farm leaders)."
He also alleged that the government would send people after him to hurt him.
On January 26, Sidhu, hailing from Punjab's Muktsar district, had sought to defend the action of protesters at the Red Fort, saying they did not remove the national flag and had put up the 'Nishan Sahib' as a symbolic protest.
Sidhu was also a close aide of BJP MP Sunny Deol, who contested from the Gurdaspur seat in Punjab during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He remained with Deol during the poll campaigning.
Deol had distanced himself from Sidhu in December last year after he joined the farmers' agitation.