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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Khanna tries to mend fences, calls up Gurdaspur MLAs

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Pathankot, July 25, 2012
First Published: 12:58 IST(25/7/2012) | Last Updated: 13:01 IST(25/7/2012)

Former Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna, who had done a disappearing act after his defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls to Congress rival Partap Singh Bajwa, was busy on Tuesday calling up MLAs of Pathankot, Sujanpur and Bhoa segments falling under the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.

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His weak political position was felt on Monday when all three MLAs were conspicuous by their absence when he arrived in Pathankot.

Only a few BJP workers and supporters along with their leaders welcomed yesteryear's Bollywood star who had received warm welcomes during his earlier visits.

Though Khanna cited his ill health for his lesser visits to his constituency, locals dubbed it as a mere excuse that did not suit his stature. He expressed his willingness before media persons to contest the Gurdaspur seat again, if given a chance by the BJP high command.

Khanna had once expressed anguish over lack of proper attention from party leaders when asked about his less frequent visits to the constituency after his electoral defeat.

Though the latest visit of Khanna has infused enthusiasm among BJP workers who still support him, a group led by another party leader Swaran Salaria is keeping a close watch on the former MP's moves. Salaria had worked hard in the recent assembly elections with an eye on party ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.

Raman Bhalla, a Congress leader, claimed that Khanna could not serve Pathankot well. Only a local who was based here could serve the people while the BJP leader during his term as MP had hardly stayed in Gurdaspur, he claimed.

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