BJP pins hope on Deol’s charisma, Cong its MLAs
Gurdaspur, May 22
When the results are out for the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency, either a popular filmstar will be elected to Parliament for the second time since Independence, the first being Vinod Khanna in 1998, or the incumbent MP will retain the seat he first won in a bypoll in 2017.
The fortunes of the candidates lay locked in the EVMs kept at Sukhjindera College and will be placed in the public domain by late afternoon.
The sheer presence of Deol, who admitted that his career in Tinsel town was almost over when the BJP rang his door bell, has catapulted the constituency into one of the most keenly watched contests in the country. It was one of the safest seats for the Congress till the BJP pulled the rug from under its rival’s feet by asking the actor to contest.
For the BJP, all eyes will be on the five seats allocated to the SAD in the seat-sharing agreement. These are Dera Baba Nanak, Qadian, Batala, Fatehgarh Churian and Gurdaspur city.
“BJP leaders, throughout the campaign, have been apprehensive whether we will do well or not. Tomorrow, everybody will know the results of the hard work we have put in for our alliance partner,” said Batala SAD MLA Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal. For the Congress, at stake is the reputation of all its seven legislators.
These MLAs fear that if they lose their respective segments, the knives could soon be out for them and that their standing within the party hierarchy could get eroded to the extent where it will be difficult for them to regain it.
“Most of them have got their own surveys done and the results are not very much pleasing. Deol is set to make a clean sweep,” averred a BJP leader. To this, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Dera Baba Nanak MLA, claimed that the BJP should not go overboard. “My opponents are living in a surreal world. BJP leaders should wait till the final results are out because people have voted for development and not for films and fantasy,” he said.