Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna abroad, Dinanagar MLA mum
Terror struck Dinanagar town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district in the wee hours of Monday but elected representatives of the area — Gurdaspur member of Parliament Vinod Khanna of the BJP and Dinanagar member of legislative assembly (MLA) Aruna Chaudhary of the Congress — remained conspicuous by their absence.
Both were not on the scene and Khanna was not even in Parliament on the worst day his constituency has seen.
When contacted, Gurdaspur district planning board chairperson Neelam Mahant of the BJP told HT that Khanna was abroad for health reasons. She could not confirm the location.
It was only in the evening when the encounter neared the end that four-time MP Khanna started tweeting and posted four messages.
At 4.21pm, the actor-turned-MP tweeted, “Horrified by & condemn the attack by terrorists on innocents in Dinanagar, Gurdaspur. Confident @PMOIndia & govt taking best possible steps.”
Over the next one hour, he tweeted thrice: “The dastardly #GurdaspurAttack is terrible shocking & unfortunate for the residents of Gurdaspur. Guilty won’t be spared. Sure authorities on the ground, with Central officials will defeat designs of attackers. Govt has taken all steps to mitigate damage. Ill health prevents my physical presence at Pathankot home. Sincere thoughts and prayers with affected families & people of Gurdaspur.”
Not a word from MLA
Dinanagar MLA Aruna Chaudhary was also not in town. When contacted, her husband Ashok Chaudhary told HT that she was in Mumbai on a personal visit.
He condemned the attacks and said it was unfortunate that the MLA could not be with the residents in their hour of grief and need.