Lok Sabha Elections Results 2019: Gurdaspur elects actor Sunny Deol
Amid polarisation of Hindu voters, Bharatyia Janata Party’s (BJP) celebrity card worked again in the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha segment comprising two border districts — Gurdaspur and Pathankot — with actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol defeating Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar by a margin of 77,009 votes.
The saffron party lost this seat in the 2017 bypoll, necessitated by the death of film star Vinod Khanna, who won the seat four times. Gurdaspur has always been Congress citadel, with the party winning 11 elections out of 12 till 1996, including a bypoll. It was only in 1998 when the BJP decided to field Bollywood star Vinod Khanna that it broke the Congress winning spree. Khanna scored a hat-trick by winning three consecutive elections in 1998, 1999, and 2004. His victory campaign was halted by Congress’ Bajwa in 2009 elections, which Khanna revenged in 2014 polls. But, Congress’ Jakhar won the seat back in 2017 bypolls defeating BJP’s Swaran Salaria by over 1.82 lakh votes.
Support from Hindu-dominated segments for Deol
Voters of Hindu-dominated assembly segments played a vital role in the victory of Sunny Deol, a Jat Sikh. He got lead from of Pathankot (29,381 votes), Bhoa (29,198 votes), Sujanpur (34,000), Dinanagar (20,522 votes) and Batala (974 votes) seats, which have a large number of Hindu voters.
But he trailed in the Sikh-dominated assembly segments. Despite being a Hindu face, Jakhar got a sizable lead in Jat-Sikh dominated assembly segments of Fatehgarh Churian and Dera Baba Nanak. He got the highest lead from Fatehgarh Churian (14,676 votes), the home turf of Punjab cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, and Dera Baba Nanak (12,102 votes), which is represented by minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
Qadian is the only Sikh-dominated assembly seat from where Sunny took a lead of 1,687 votes.
“I am happy over the victory of Narendra Modi in the country and here I am happy over my victory. I firmly believed that the people here are fond of me and they would vote for me. I will strive to make Gurdaspur a model constituency,” said Sunny after his victory.
When asked what would be the first thing he would do as an MP, Sunny said: “Arre pehle mujhe shuruaat to karne dijie. I would complete the projects initiated by Khanna.”
On Thursday, Sunny stayed at his house in Gurdaspur the entire day and celebrated his victory with party workers and leaders, including Kamal Sharma, party district president VK Mittal and former minister Master Mohan Lal. Punjab BJP president Shwait Malik also visited Sunny’s house to congratulate him.
(With inputs from Kamaljit Singh Kamal)
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