Bollywood actor and BJP candidate Sunny Deol has taken the lead by more than 21,000 votes in Punjab’s Gurdaspur from where he is contesting, showed early leads at around 10 am.
Mr Deol is contesting against senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar. Mr Deol, 62, is BJP’s choice to wrestle the Gurdaspur seat back from Congress.
Another big contender for the seat is the Aam Aadmi Party’s Peter Masih. In the 2014 general election, the AAP won four seats from Punjab, out of 13.
The Gurdaspur seat has been a BJP stronghold, represented by actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014. After his death, there was speculation that his wife Kavita Khanna would be nominated from the seat.
After the announcement of Sunny Deol’s candidacy, she expressed her disappointment, but later reconciled with the party, but made her reservations clear.
“The BJP and my Prime Minister have my support, but at the same time I have to insist that what has happened with me can absolutely not happen again,” she said.
Earlier, while campaigning in Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol had openly acknowledges that he is new in this business. “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,” he admitted.
Veteran actor and former BJP lawmaker Dharmendra had earlier said he would not have allowed his son Sunny Deol to contest the national elections from Punjab’s Gurdaspur had he known who his rival is – Congress’s Sunil Jakhar, the sitting lawmaker from the constituency.
“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),” the 83-year-old told news agency ANI.
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