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Lok Sabha elections 2019: In a first of late, only outsiders in direct contest in Gurdaspur

Congress’ Sukhbuns Kaur Bhinder won from the seat five times from 1980 to 1997.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 27, 2019 10:36 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, GURDASPUR
Lok Sabha,Gurdaspur,Dharmendra
Gurbhajan Gill, a Punjabi writer from Gurdaspur district, wrote in his post on social media that by fielding an outsider, the BJP has cheated the people of the segment.(HT Photo)

In a first in the recent past, only ‘outsider’ candidates are pitted against each other in a direct contest in the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency.

While Congress nominee and Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar belongs to Abohar in Fazilka, which is part of the Ferozepur parliamentary seat, BJP contender and Bollywood actor Sunny Deol’s only Punjab connection is that he has roots in the state with his father Dharmendra hailing from Sahnewal in Ludhiana district.

Though Jakhar, who won from the seat in the 2017 bypoll, necessitated by actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna’s death, stayed in touch with the segment’s people during his tenure, the opponents like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are raising the insider-versus-outsider bogey with the voters.

Gurbhajan Gill, a Punjabi writer from Gurdaspur district, wrote in his post on social media that by fielding an outsider, the BJP has cheated the people of the segment.

“Already, BJP’s Vinod Khanna, an outsider, won from the seat four times. People of the segment are waiting for the time when a local face will represent their segment. In the bypoll, the Congress fielded Jakhar,” he said.

Congress’ Sukhbuns Kaur Bhinder won from the seat five times from 1980 to 1997.

To stop her juggernaut, the BJP played celebrity card by brining Vinod Khanna, a Punjabi by origin, but an outsider for the people of Gurdaspur. The experiment worked as Khanna, a Hindu face, won four times from the seat even as five of the nine assembly segments in Lok Sabha segment are Jat Sikh-dominated. No local candidate challenged Khanna till 2009 when Congress leader Partap Bajwa defeated him by 8,342 votes. But in 2014, Khanna handed out a defeat to Bajwa.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 08:24 IST

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