New Delhi [India]: Kavita Khanna, who was denied a BJP ticket to contest the ongoing polls from Gurdaspur constituency on Saturday said that the BJP has her support.
Kavita, the wife of late actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, said despite the “unacceptable” treatment meted out to her by BJP, she would make a “personal sacrifice” and support the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It is my decision that I’m not going to make this a personal issue. I am making a personal sacrifice and will put my entire might and support behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Kavita said while addressing a press conference here.
“The BJP and my Prime Minister have my support, but at the same time I have to insist that what has happened with me can absolutely not happen again.”
Talking about the BJP’s decision to field new entrant Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur, Kavita said it was very upsetting that despite being asked to make all preparations for fighting elections, the party gave a ticket to Deol.
“Everyone agreed that what the party did to me was wrong, they all felt it was my right to contest (from Gurdaspur). I felt very hurt. I understand it is the party’s right to decide who the candidate will be, but there is a way of doing it. They didn’t even inform me that they had chosen another candidate. I felt abandoned, rejected and was made to feel insignificant,” said a visibly-distraught Kavita.
“It was very upsetting that I was asked to make all preparations but in the end, the ticket was given to someone else. For 1.5 months I was with the cadre, I got my papers ready. I had faith in the Prime Minister and party chief that whatever decision they take would be in line with the nation’s interest,” she said.
Kavita went on to say that she was approached by many national parties after BJP sidelined her. “But I am not one of those people who will take advantage of a particular situation. I would have definitely won from Gurdaspur had I contested as an Independent candidate. But this is not about me. I want the BJP’s candidate to win, I want Gurdaspur to go to the Prime Minister’s kitty,” she added.
Vinod Khanna had won four Lok Sabha polls – in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014 – from Gurdaspur constituency on a BJP ticket. He passed away in April 2017, and in the by-elections held in the same year, Congress’ Sunil Jakhar emerged triumphant from Gurdaspur.
The 13 Lok Sabha seats at stake in Punjab will go to polls on May 19 in the last phase of general elections. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
In Gurdaspur, Sunil Jakhar will face Sunny Deol, who is contesting on a BJP ticket from the seat.