Bollywood actor and Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol has appointed a writer as his “representative” to the Lok Sabha constituency. The move came under fire from the ruling Congress, which described it as a “betrayal” of the voters’ mandate.
In a letter issued on the letterhead of the Gurdaspur MP, Deol appointed Gurpreet Singh Palheri as his “representative” to “attend meetings and follow important matters”.
“I hereby appoint Gurpreet Singh Palheri, son of Supinder Singh, resident of village Palheri, district Mohali, Punjab, as my representative to attend meetings and follow important matters pertaining to my Parliamentary constituency, Gurdaspur (Punjab), with concerned authorities,” the letter signed by Deol reads, according to PTI.
Palheri, who is a writer and line producer, said the letter was issued on 26 June
He tried to downplay the issue, saying, “It (appointment) is for local issues. It is like being in 24-hour service of people of Gurdaspur.”
He, however, asserted that the Gurdaspur MP and the BJP were taking care of the public issues of the Lok Sabha constituency.
Singh, who is also known as ‘Gyani ji’ in film industry circles, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express that he is not replacing Sunny Deol. “I have just joined just as personal assistant of Sunny Deol and will look after his work in the constituency. I, along with other BJP leaders, will sit in the official meetings in the absence of the MP,” he further said, according to The Indian Express.
Palheri said, according to PTI, Deol would visit the Gurdaspur constituency every month. “He will now come to Gurdaspur after Parliament session is over,” he added.
Meanwhile, Punjab cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa lashed out at Deol for appointing a representative and dubbed the move a “betrayal” with the voters of the border constituency.
“Sunny Deol has betrayed voters of Gurdaspur constituency by appointing a representative,” said Randhawa, an MLA from Dera Baba Nanak, an Assembly segment which is part of the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency.
“How can an MP appoint his representative? Voters have elected Sunny Deol as MP, not his representative,” Randhawa told PTI.
Deol became MP after defeating Congress’ Sunil Jakhar with a margin of 82,459 votes in the Lok Sabha polls.
Jakhar, according to ANI, said, “Voters never expected anything from him other than selfie with him.”
And, as usual, Twitter had jokes on Deol’s decision:
Deol later said a controversy is being created out of nothing. He said the appointment was made to “ensure smooth flow of work” whenever he was “out of Gurdaspur”.
The first-time MP added that it was “extremely unfortunate to see a controversy being created out of nothing at all”.
(With PTI inputs)