Lok Sabha 2019: Will Akshaye Khanna be able to weave the magic his father created in Gurdaspur?
Gurdaspur constituency was to Vinod Khanna's charisma rather than BJP's credit. It remains to be seen if Khanna (Jr) is able to exude the same charm in the constituency.
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The Bharatiya Janata Party, perhaps a shade more than its rivals, has always relied on infusing a quotient of ‘glamour’ and ‘stardom’ to win elections. And so seems the case in the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Gurdaspur in Punjab, where the saffron party is said to be pondering with hosting film actor Akshaye Khanna as its nominee.
On his father's footsteps: Akshaye Khanna likely to be the BJP candidate from Gurdaspur. His father, Vinod Khanna won four Lok Sabha elections from Gurdaspur (Photo: PTI)
Much of the speculation is premised on his father, the late Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna’s immense popularity in the border district. Khanna, notably, won four Lok Sabha elections (1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014) from Gurdaspur and was widely viewed as something of a ‘sure thing’ for the BJP. In fact, the party fared poorly in the 2017 by-election necessitated by Khanna’s demise, with its candidate, Mumbai businessman Swaran Singh Salaria losing to the Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar.
Vinod Khanna was said to be close to Narendra Modi. In this file photo, the two are seen sharing a moment during an election rally in Pathankot. (Photo: PTI)
Now that there is another shot at the seat, local BJP leaders in Gurdaspur believe that Akshaye can similarly benefit from his Bollywood connection. “Gurdaspur’s people are a very emotional lot and will be only too willing to adopt Akshaye as one of their own,” said one such leader.
Vinod Khanna's demise necessitated by-poll in Gurdaspur — BJP's Swaran Singh Salaria faced an embarrassing loss to the Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar. (Photo: Facebook)
But nothing’s final as yet and a formal announcement is likely to be deferred given that Punjab will go to the polls in the final phase on May 19. Meanwhile, there are several others, including Salaria and BJP national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna, whose names are circulating.
(Courtesy of Mail Today)