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Posted at: Mar 15, 2019, 7:16 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2019, 6:22 PM (IST)LOK SABHA ELECTION 2019

Gurdaspur seat may go to Khanna kin

Gurdaspur seat may go to Khanna kin
Indications from Delhi are that the names of actor Akshaye Khanna and Kavita Khanna, the son and wife of the late MP, have been shortlisted.

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, March 14

The BJP central leadership is of the view that only a family member of Vinod Khanna can give a befitting fight to the Congress candidate from Gurdaspur. Indications from party leaders in Delhi are that the names of the late four-time MP’s son, actor Akshaye Khanna, and wife Kavita Khanna are being discussed.

“We not only want to keep alive the legacy of Vinod Khanna, whose work in the constituency from 1998 till 2017 (barring 2009-2014) was highlighted by PM Narendra Modi in his speech in Gurdaspur on January 3, but also want to jolt the Congress candidate by bringing in an actor as popular as Akshaye,” said a top functionary. Insiders say with Akshaye not too enthusiastic about the offer, the party leadership approached  Kavita, who arrived in Pathankot today. 

Speaking to The Tribune, she said she would be happy if the ticket remained with the family. “Whether it is me or Akshaye, it doesn’t matter. Unfinished projects started by my husband will be completed only if somebody from the family is handed over the baton.” 

Kavita has the advantage of having spiritual master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on her side, who wields much influence on national politics. He is one of the three mediators named by the Supreme Court to solve the Ayodhya  issue.

During the 2017 byelection, Kavita was in the reckoning for the party ticket. But a last-minute nudge by yoga guru Swami Ramdev in favour of Mumbai businessman Swaran Salaria dashed her hopes. Kavita has been active in the constituency ever since Salaria lost the bypoll by a massive margin of 1.93 lakh votes. 

Salaria has been in touch with the electorate too. Having financed the PM’s Gurdaspur rally, he could be expecting the party ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.

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