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'Not ignored Gurdaspur'

Vinod Khanna is banking on Vajpayee the factor to retain his seat.
PTI | By Raveen Thukral, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2004 10:22 AM IST

Vinod Khanna is seeking election from Gurdaspur for the third time. This time, he is heavily banking on A.B. Vajpayee’s accomplishments. Excerpts from an interview:

What are the issues on which you are seeking votes?

Besides my own performance, I am seeking another term to carry forward development works. The emphasis is to popularise the party's development agenda and ensure India becomes a superpower.

It seems you are banking more on the Vajpayee factor than your personal achievements

Vajpayee is the tallest leader and a popular choice. Regarding my work, improvement of infrastructure was my priority. To name a few, five bridges were constructed with active support from the Centre. I have also paved way for the opening of an airport at  Pathankot.

There is a feeling among voters that you were not accessible.

I have to admit my visits to my constituency became less after I became a minister. This was not intended. My parliamentary work as well as my duties as minister for external affairs kept me out of the country off and on. I can assure no work suffered on that account.

You opponents accuse you of not fully utilising your MPLAD funds.

This is absurd. I have utilised 100 per cent of my LAD funds.

What do you promise your voters now?

To create job opportunities and to promote development works that directly benefit the unemployed youth. I am sure my efforts to get incentives for establishing industries in the border areas would materialise.

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