With the BJP fielding Bollywood actor Sunny Deol from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, ticket aspirant Kavita Khanna, wife of late Union minister and four-time MP Vinod Khanna, Wednesday said she felt betrayed and was weighing all her options, including contesting as an Independent. The party Tuesday evening named Deol as its candidate from Gurdaspur, a decision which is being seen as a setback to Kavita who was hopeful of getting nominated from the seat. ''I feel betrayed. I also feel that the wishes of people who wanted me as their MP were ignored'', Kavita told PTI on Wednesday.
Asked if she would contest as an Independent from the Gurdaspur seat, Kavita said, ''I am weighing all my options. I have not decided anything (yet). I have not taken any decision on any issue.'' She asserted that she along with Vinod Khanna had worked for the people of the Gurdaspur constituency for 20 years. ''I have faith in God. Life is a journey. I have worked here for 20 years. When Vinod ji was unwell, I used to meet people of the constituency. People wanted me as their MP'', she said.
Hopeful of getting a BJP ticket for Lok Sabha polls, Kavita had been meeting public and party workers in Gurdaspur for the past several weeks. At a rally in Gurdaspur in January this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recalled the efforts of Vinod Khanna for developing the area. "Vinod Khanna made efforts for the progress of this place. He wanted to see modern and prosperous Gurdaspur, we have to realise his dream," PM Modi had said.
Currently, the Gurdaspur constituency is represented by Congress MP Sunil Jakhar who won the seat in the 2017 bypoll, which was necessitated after the death of Vinod Khanna in April that year. Jakhar had defeated BJP candidate Swaran Salaria by a whopping margin of 1,93,219 votes. Kavita was among the frontrunners for the BJP ticket during the 2017 by-poll, but the party chose businessman Salaria over her. Vinod Khanna had won the seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014. He was popularly known as "sardar of bridges" for connecting remote villages in his constituency.