Ending several days of speculation, the BJP has finally announced the name of its candidate to contest form the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat scheduled on October 11. It may be recalled that the Gurdaspur seat had fallen vacant after the demise of Vinod Khanna earlier this year. Vinod Khanna was a popular Bollywood actor and later he had joined politics. Khanna had a successful run in politics as well, as he had been a Member of Parliament (MP) for 4 terms. BJP had won the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat since 1998, with the only exception in 2009 general elections, when Pratap Singh Bajwa of Congress had defeated Vinod Khanna. The seat had fallen vacant after Vinod Khanna died after fighting cancer for a long time. His hospital photo, wherein he looked extremely weak and skeleton-like had gone viral on social media.
BJP’s new candidate from Gurdaspur is 58 year old Swaran Singh Salaria, who is a businessman. Earlier, it was expected that BJP would give the ticket to Kavita Khanna, who is wife of Vinod Khanna. It was being speculated that Kavita may help garner sympathy votes. However, the final decision has gone in favor of Swaran Singh Salaria. The fight is going to be tough, as other parties have also fielded strong candidates. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded Maj Gen Suresh Khajuria (retd) as its candidate whereas Congress has fielded Sunil Kumar Jakhar as its candidate.