The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded actor Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur seat in Punjab for the Lok Sabha elections. Releasing its 26th list Tuesday, the party also declared the names of Som Prakash and Kirron Kher for the Hoshiarpur and Chandigarh seats respectively.
Earlier in the day, Deol joined the saffron party in the presence of Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal in New Delhi, saying he was impressed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The way my father (film star Dharmendra) was attached with Atalji, today I have come to join Modiji,” said Deol who has worked in several blockbuster films like Ghayal, Damini and Ghatak.
“Whatever I can do for this family (BJP), I will do it….I won’t talk, I will show you through my work,” Deol added.
The actor had met BJP national president Amit Shah last week, sparking speculation that the party might field him from Punjab.
He will be contesting against sitting Congress MP Sunil Jhakhar, who had wrested the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat from the BJP in a bypoll held in 2017 following the death of actor Vinod Khanna. Jakhar had defeated Swaran Singh Salaria by a record margin of over 1.93 lakh votes.
Welcoming Deol into the party, Sitharaman said, “The moment we got to know that he is coming to the party, I can only relate to the film Border he had made, post which the impact on the Indian audience of such a theme was really proven…. “The feeling of nationalism and patriotism, when so beautifully evoked through a film, can really touch the core of Indian citizen.”
Deol understands the pulse of people and “is inspired by the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is serving the cause of the people, and keeping India’s glory high,” she said. He is an artiste of eminence who makes films beyond commercial considerations on the themes that are important for the country, Sitharaman added.
The party has announced candidates for 437 seats out of 545 so far. In 2014, it had contested 428 seats. The BJP had contested 433 seats 2009, 364 in 2004 and 339 in 1999.