A photo of Bollywood actor Sunny Deol is viral on social media claiming that he has joined BJP and will be fighting the elections. In the photo, Deol can be seen interacting with BJP leaders.
The video, which went viral a few days ago, has not only confused the workers but has also acted as a catalyst for contenders to reach out to their respective “godfathers” in the central leadership.
Some BJP leaders, however, claim that the footage being shown had been shot just before the 2017 bypoll necessitated by the death of sitting MP Vinod Khanna. “It has no relevance now. Somebody has made it viral just to confuse our workers. I see a Congress hand in it,” a BJP senior leader said.
Insiders claim the party has placed the video in public domain only after a survey conducted by it revealed that only a celebrity had a chance of putting up a fight against Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar.
Jakhar won the 2017 bypoll by a massive margin of 1.93 lakh votes and this time, too, survey reports reveal that it will be difficult for the BJP to deliver the knockout punch.
“The BJP can win only if they bring in a star like the party did when it fielded Vinod Khanna for the first time in 1998. The Mumbai-based actor, who had nothing to do with Gurdaspur, pulled off an impressive win by beating five-time MP Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder.
Later, he went on to become a three-time Parliamentarian before his juggernaut was stopped by Partap Singh Bajwa in 2009. With this logic in mind, the party is clearly testing the waters by floating the name of Sunny Deol,”said a former minister.
The video is having a cascading effect with all main contenders-Kavita Khanna, Swaran Salaria, Master Mohan Lal and Dinesh Babbu working their contacts vigorously. Actor Akshaye Khanna, whose name had surfaced as a candidate a few weeks ago, has declined to contest saying he had “several film commitments to fulfil.”
Two-time Cabinet minister Master Mohan Lal, considered to be an old RSS hand, said he has met senior leaders, including Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. “All of them have assured me that the ticket will be given to a local leader and not to a parachute candidate. This means I am in contention,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kavita Khanna will be landing in the constituency from Mumbai on April 7 and will be addressing a series of meetings in Sujanpur, Bhoa, Pathankot and Dinanagar. Her candidature is being backed by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar while Salaria, who lost the 2017 byelection, is being supported by yoga exponent Swami Ramdev.