Lost in polls, BJP forgets Vinod Khanna’s birthday
No official function or even a meeting has been planned to mark the first birth anniversary of the thespian, who would have turned 61 today. With his widow, Kavita Khanna, in Mumbai, the party leaders went about their electioneering as usual.punjab Updated: Oct 07, 2017 17:24 IST
Lost in the hustle and bustle of campaigning, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Gurdaspur seem to have forgotten the man who led the party to victory for a record four times from this Parliamentary constituency, the last time with a margin of 1.4 lakh votes.
No official function or even a meeting has been planned to mark the first birth anniversary of the thespian, who would have turned 71 today (Friday). With his widow, Kavita Khanna, in Mumbai, the party leaders went about their electioneering as usual.
Punjab BJP treasurer, B K Mittal, when contacted, demanded that the bridge connecting Gurdaspur with Hoshiarpur be named after the late thespian. “Khanna has done a yeoman’s service to this constituency. He will live on in the hearts of the people of Gurdaspur,” said Mittal.
Ramesh Sharma, former president of Gurdaspur district BJP, said though there had been many locals who represented this parliamentary constituency, no one remembers them. “The only name that people recall fondly is that of Khanna. He’s made an enduring place for himself.”
Locals remember Khanna for his warmth and humility. “He used to attend the weddings of people even in villages. He was always accessible and people felt he would look after their interests,” said a local.
Mittal pointed out how Khanna’s integrity was above board. “There wasn’t a whiff of scandal around him,” he said. Sharma said Khanna had managed to unite the party workers despite the tag of being an outsider.
Party insiders said leaders from Pathankot, Bhoa, and Sujanpur assembly seats had done a disservice to the party by opposing a ticket to Khanna’s widow Kavita on the plea that she was an outsider. “That caused a rift in the party.”
Born in 1946, Khanna had won four elections from the parliamentary constituency, losing only one to Partap Singh Bajwa in 2009, that too by a slender margin. In 2014, he had won the seat by a whopping 1.4 lakh votes.