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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Race for Gurdaspur BJP candidate hots up; Khanna, Salaria frontrunners

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Pathankot, January 11, 2014
First Published: 23:25 IST(11/1/2014) | Last Updated: 23:27 IST(11/1/2014)

Senior BJP leaders from New Delhi on Sunday held a meeting with local BJP leaders and workers ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in the Gurdaspur constituency.

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The leaders reportedly took views of senior leaders and workers to pick the candidate for Lok Sabha polls. The party had lost this seat in last LS polls when Congress Candidate Partap Bajwa had defeated three-time MP and veteran film actor Vinod Khanna.

Mumbai-based industrialist Swaran Salaria, who hails from Chauhana village in Gurdaspur, and Vinod Khanna are the frontrunners for the ticket. Educationist SK Punj and former cabinet minister Master Mohan Lal have also thrown their hat in the ring.
 
BJP national organisational secretary Ram Lal, who along with the state BJP top brass, had earlier visited the Hoshiarpur and Amritsar constituencies where the party will field its candidates under the seat-sharing arrangement with the SAD.

He reached on Saturday evening here where he was accompanied by state BJP chief Kamal Sharma, party's Majha in-charge Rakesh Rathore and organisational secretary Ajay Jamwal.

Though no party leader was willing to give details about the development, it has been learnt that beside allocating duties on booth level, the party is finding it difficult to come up with the name of the candidate from Gurdaspur with two strong contestants.

Sources said discussions were also held on the loopholes left during the last election when Partap Bajwa defeated Vinod Khanna by a margin of 4,300 votes.

Salaria is also active in the area for three years while Khanna had upset the local residents by remaining away after losing the last LS polls.

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