Gurdaspur: Snubbed by BJP, ticket aspirants plan next move

Actor Sunny Deol is the third member from his star-studded family to join politics. (Photo: BJP/Twitter)

Declining to welcome the ticket to Sunny Deol, two rival BJP leaders, who were angling for a ticket from Gurdaspur, are now planning their next move.

While BJP's 2017 Gurdaspur bypoll nominee Swaran Singh Salaria said that he will "make an announcement about future plans on April 27", Kavita Khanna, the wife of former MP Vinod Khanna, said that she was condering entering the fray as an Independent.

"I have been considering it and will soon make an announcement. I don't want to say anything now," she said.

Earlier, talking to the PTI, she said: "I feel betrayed. I also feel that the wishes of people who wanted me as their MP were ignored."

She asserted that she along with Vinod Khanna had worked for the people of the Gurdaspur constituency for 20 years.

"I have faith in God. Life is a journey. I have worked here for 20 years. When Vinod ji was unwell, I used to meet people of the constituency. People wanted me as their MP," she said.

Hopeful of getting a BJP ticket for Lok Sabha polls, Kavita had been meeting public and party workers in Gurdaspur for the past several weeks.

At a rally in Gurdaspur in January this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recalled the efforts of Vinod Khanna for developing the area.

"Vinod Khanna made efforts for the progress of this place. He wanted to see modern and prosperous Gurdaspur, we have to realise his dream," PM Modi had said.

Currently, the Gurdaspur constituency is represented by Congress MP Sunil Jakhar who won the seat in the 2017 bypoll, which was necessitated after the death of Vinod Khanna in April that year.

Jakhar had defeated BJP candidate Swaran Salaria by a whopping margin of 1,93,219 votes. On Wednesday, Salaria first avoided answering and then disconnected the phone when asked if he welcomed the ticket to Sunny Deol.

In 2017, Kavita was among the frontrunners for the BJP ticket for the bypoll, but the party chose businessman Salaria over her. Vinod Khanna had won the seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014. He was popularly known as "sardar of bridges" for connecting remote villages in his constituency.

Langah faces the heat again

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh was forced to repeat on Wednesday that no Sikh should have any kind of interaction with a person excommunicated from community.

He issued a press note to underline same as some Sikh activists had approached Akal Takht with a complaint that excommunicated former Punjab Cabinet minister Sucha Singh Langah was campaigning for SAD (Badal) in Dera Baba Nanak of Gurdaspur and was allegedly using gurdwara premises for the same.

Sacked from the Shiromani Akali Dal Badal after registration of rape case against him just before the Gurdaspur by-election in 2017, Langah was acquitted from the same case earlier in 2018. Langah had asked Akal Takht to review his excommunication from community, however, his request is pending with Akal Takht.