The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reportedly shortlisted several names for the three Lok Sabha polls from Punjab, which it will be contesting with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), reported Indian Express. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardip Puri might contest from Amritsar, and Bollywood actor Akshaye Khanna is among the shortlisted candidates […]
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reportedly shortlisted several names for the three Lok Sabha polls from Punjab, which it will be contesting with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), reported Indian Express. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardip Puri might contest from Amritsar, and Bollywood actor Akshaye Khanna is among the shortlisted candidates from Gurdaspur.
A senior BJP member told IE that multiple names have been shortlisted for the three seats in Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, and Gurdaspur of Punjab. The final decision on the seats will be taken in another couple of weeks. The leader on condition of anonymity said, “Voting in Punjab is scheduled to happen towards in the last phases of Lok Sabha Election, so the party would take some time to announce the names in these three seats.”
Apart from Hardip Puri, BJP might also ask senior lawyer and AAP leader HS Phoolka whether he wants to fight for the seat in Amritsar. Phoolka though have resigned from the Aam Admi Party and his Vidhasabha seat from Dakha, his resignation is yet to be accepted. According to many in BJP, the party is eager to give the Amritsar ticket to Phoolka for his record of prosecuting the 1984 anti-Sikh riots successfully – which might also win him considerable support, reported IE.
Former state Vice President of BJP, Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina and BJP Minister in the state, Anil Joshi might also be in the race for the Amritsar ticket of BJP. Chhina had contested from the 2017 Lok Sabha bypolls after the seat fell vacant due to the resignation of Capt Amarinder Singh, but he lost to Gurjit Singh Aujla of Congress then.
In Gurdaspur, BJP is planning to put up the most aggressive fight against sitting MP of Congress Sunil Jakhar. The party is considering fielding either the wife of late Vinod Khanna who was a four-time Gurdaspur MP, Kavita Khanna or his son Akshaye Khanna. A local BJP leader told IE, “Vinod Khanna has tremendous goodwill in that constituency, PM Modi has even mentioned him extensively in his rallies in the area.” The leader also added, “If Kavita Khanna does not have any problem then the party might as well offer the ticket to Akshaye Khanna, who will evidently bring the Bollywood charm along with his father’s memories – which might give a tough competition to Jakhar.”
BJP’s former state president and national vice president Ashwini Rai Khanna is also being considered for the seat, despite of the obvious inclination towards Vinod Khanna’s family. Apart from them, Swaran Singh Salaria, who contested in the bypolls in 2017 after Khanna’s death is also reportedly making attempts to get the ticket.
In Hoshiarpur, the seat is a reserved category seat which belongs to sitting MP Vijay Sampla, might be retained by Sampla himself. He has the strongest claim to the seat as he is the Minister of State. However, there are others who are trying to get the ticket as well, which includes Som Parkash, a former IAS officer and current Phagwara MLA, and Rajesh Bagga, the former Chairman of SC Commission of Punjab.