The BJP today declared businessman Swarn Singh Salariya as its candidate for the Gurdaspur by-election to be held on October 11. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already named Major General (Retd) Suresh Khajuria as its candidate while the Congress yesterday announced that its state president Sunil Jakhar would contest the election. “Swarn Singh Salariya will be the BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency bypoll,” said Punjab BJP secretary Vineet Joshi.
Salariya is a native of Chauhana village in Gurdaspur. He has interests in hospitality, aviation and other sectors, Joshi said. The bypoll has been necessitated by the death of actor Vinod Khanna, who was the sitting MP.
Kavita Khanna, wife of the late BJP MP, was also considered a front-runner for the party ticket. She had been participating in the party meetings in Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.
Salariya was considered one of the probable BJP candidates from Gurdaspur before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well. However, the party chose Vinod Khanna, who went on to win the seat.
Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat has been a stronghold of the BJP. Actor-turned-politician Khanna won it four-times. Khanna died of cancer at a hospital in Mumbai on April 27 this year.