18:42 GMT23 January 2021
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    Actors Priyanka Chopra, Diljit Dosanjh, and other celebs have extended their support to the farmers’ protests against recently passed laws in India. Thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana states have been protesting on the outskirts of New Delhi, demanding that the laws be scrapped. The top court has also intervened to end the stalemate.

    Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has hit out at singer-actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Diljit Dosanjh for what she described as instigating and misleading farmers without having clarity about the entire issue in the first place.

    Calling them “local revolutionaries for the farmers”, Kangana asked Diljit and Priyanka in a recent tweet “to make at least one video explaining to the farmers what they have to protest about”.

    She also alleged that “both of them have disappeared after inciting farmers”.

    Contrary to the views of Diljit and Priyanka, Kangana feels that the controversy-sparking farm bills will benefit the farmers, as they will be able to “sell their produce anywhere in the country” and “can choose to skip the middle man and sell their products directly to corporates or consumers”.

    Like many others, Kangana feels that these farm bills are “revolutionary steps taken by the government to help [the] miserable condition of farmers in India”.

    Questioning the stance of Diljit and Priyanka for supporting the farmers' protest, Kangana asked Diljit what exactly he it was didn’t like about the farm bills. In reply, Diljit shared a video of a protester making assumptions about how these bills will impact farmers.

    ​Slamming the video, Kangana tweeted on Thursday morning, “This is how you all have been misleading innocent farmers, who is this man in the video making up stories if this happens then that will happen and if that happens then this might happen. Why is he indulging in fear mongering based on his own assumptions? Stop misleading farmers”.​

    Kangana cited recent reports issued by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on Wednesday which said that the economies of the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir are bearing losses to the tune of over $476 million (INR 35,000 million) every day.

    She tweeted that the 20 days of agitation had cost around $953 million to the country, “because of protests leading to economic slowdown in neighbouring industries and small factories and might lead to riots”.

    Tagging Priyanka and Diljit, she cautioned them by saying that their "actions have serious consequences".

    Kangana took a dig at the two actors after Diljit joined the farmers’ agitation at the Delhi border earlier this month and reportedly donated INR 10 million ($136,140) to buy warm clothes for the protesters. Priyanka also extended her support to them in a tweet.

    ​The Twitter spat with Diljit and Kangana started earlier this month when the latter wrongly identified an old woman at the ongoing farmers’ protests as Bilkis Bano, the face of the Shaheen Bagh protest, and claimed that Bilkis was “available (for hire) in 100 rupees” for protests.

    Diljit criticised her for spreading misinformation with her tweets.

    Since 26 November, farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s Singhu border against the farm laws, including the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

    According to the Narendra Modi government, the laws enable farmers to sell their produce elsewhere, not just on the government licensed market. The new laws also aim to promote contract farming, allowing agricultural workers to sign supply agreements with private firms for higher, pre-decided prices. 

    Related:

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