Actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol, who joined the BJP in April, is the party’s candidate from Punjab’s Gurdaspur constituency. He is pitted against sitting MP and Punjab Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar.
The constituency was previously represented by actor Vinod Khanna , who won the seat four times for BJP. Gurdaspur votes on 19 May, the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
On the campaign trail, Deol has said he doesn’t know much about politics but called himself a patriot who wanted to work for the country.
Asked about what he will do for Gurdaspur, he told Economic Times, “I don’t want to say much as I am new here. After winning, I will understand the pace well as I will do things professionally. There are so many things to be done here. I have to find different headings and find what the youth need and are looking for. That will give me a sense of what to do and then I will move ahead. It will be an interesting process and we will find ways to do things.”
On NDTV, Deol said he didn’t much about the Balakot strikes either. “I do not know much about issues like Balakot strikes or India’s relations with Pakistan. I am here to serve people; if I win maybe I will have an opinion, right now I don’t.”
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has claimed that the BJP “put pressure” on Deol to contest polls with a threat of conducting an income tax raid on him.
Deol’s opponent Jakhar also took a dig at him saying while the actor may be adept at singing and dancing around and pulling hand pumps out of the soil, he did not know anything about Gurdaspur or the problems of its people.
“I may not be able to entertain you but I will solve your problems by helping reopen sugar mills and setting up medical colleges,” Jakhar said.
Deol’s father Dharmendra, also a former BJP MP, said that he wouldn’t have let Deol contest from Gurdaspur had he known he would be up against Jhakhar.
“Balram Jakhar was like my brother. Had I known his son Sunil Jakhar was contesting from Gurdaspur, I would have not allowed Sunny (to contest against him),” Dharmendra was quoted as saying by ANI.
While campaigning for the BJP in Yamunanagar, Deol said, “We need a strong leader like Modi ji. Bring back NDA to power once again.”
“The pace of development during last five years is phenomenal and it must continue, for this you need to bring Modi ji back to power,” he said.
(with PTI inputs)