Gurdaspur, May 19
Minutes after Gurdaspur ex-MP Sunil Jakhar joined the BJP, there was speculation of whether he will contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 from his old seat or not. The rumour mills were working overtime with the assumption Jakhar had joined the new outfit on the premise that he will “be given the ticket from this constituency”.
Jakhar’s unfinished projects
- Jakhar remained Gurdaspur MP from Dec 2017 to June 2019. In 2019 poll, BJP fielded Sunny Deol, who emerged winner
- With Deol having been largely “missing” from constituency for the past two years, he is unlikely to be re-nominated by the party
- The local BJP leadership says it is not averse to Jakhar getting the ticket as he has “important works to finish”
- His unfinished projects include the elevation of Pathankot’s 3.6-km narrow gauge rail track, revival of Batala’s 1,500 industrial units and 42-km Qadian-Beas rail link
Ironically, in the 2019 General Election, when Jakhar was considered to be in strong position to retain the seat he had won in the 2017 byelection, the BJP had played its trump card in the form of bringing in a celebrity in Sunny Deol.
The actor triumphed and now the same BJP will be using Jakhar to fill the space created by a disinterested Deol. The actor has not been seen in the constituency for two years and it is an open secret in the BJP he will not be re-nominated by the party.
The local BJP leadership said it was not averse to Jakhar getting the ticket “because he has important work to finish.” Jakhar remained Gurdaspur MP from December 15, 2017 till June 18, 2019.
The three main cities of this constituency — Pathankot, Batala and Gurdaspur — are dominated by the Hindus. Jakhar, by virtue of belonging to the community, ticks all right boxes.
The fact that the BJP has already started preparing for 2024 has not been lost on anyone. The party is the process of identifying and shortlisting its probable candidates.
For the past two days, ever since Jakhar made public his decision of leaving the Congress, whispers were doing the rounds among the BJP rank and file that “he would be the party’s candidate”.
Everybody among the political class knows he is on good terms with Home Minister Amit Shah and other Delhi-based influential leaders.
Meanwhile, BJP satraps say the unfinished projects of Jakhar include the elevation of the 3.6 km narrow gauge rail trackrunning through the municipal limits of Pathankot, revival of Batala’s 1,500 industrial units and 42-km Qadian-Beas rail link.
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