Reacting angrily to the denial of renomination on the Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seat, Union minister Vijay Sampla on Tuesday (April 23) said the BJP has committed “cow slaughter.” The BJP on Thursday picked up its Phagwara MLA Som Prakash for the Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seat, denying ticket to Sampla from there.
The party also fielded actor Sunny Deol as its candidate from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat hours after he joined the party, while sitting MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher was renominated from the Union Territory.
Sampla gave vent to his anger in a series of tweets, hitting out at his party. “Feel very sad, the BJP has done cow slaughter,” the senior party leader tweeted in Hindi. In another tweet, the Dalit leader sought to present his clean credentials and asked the party what was his fault and why he was denied renomination.
“You should have pointed out any fault. What is my fault?” he tweeted. “There is no corruption charge against me. No one can raise a finger at my conduct,” he said.
He also highlighted the development work he undertook during his tenure as an MP.
“I got an airport in my region, got many new trains started, got roads built,” tweeted Sampla.
“If this is the fault, I will tell my coming generations that they must not commit these mistakes,” he said in his tweet. Sampla also removed the word Chowkidar from his twitter handle prefixed earlier.
Sampla is the Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment. Earlier, he was replaced as chief of Punjab BJP by Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik with whom he reportedly did not share good terms.
A prominent Dalit leader, Sampla has been raising the issue of disbursement of post-matric scholarships to the SC students and had even accused the Congress government in Punjab of denying benefits of the scheme to the SC students.
The Gurdaspur seat
Late actor and MP Vinod Khanna’s wife Kavita Khanna and BJP leader Swaran Salaria were ticket aspirants from Gurdaspur, from where Doel has been fielded. Vinod Khanna had represented Gurdaspur in the Lok Sabha for four times as a BJP candidate.
His death in April 2017 had necessitated the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll which was won by Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar. Kavita Khanna has been holding public and workers meetings in Gurdaspur constituency for the past several weeks.
With Deol being named as the BJP candidate from this border seat, he will now face Congress nominee Jakhar. Deol, a popular figure among the people of Punjab, has the potential to tilt the scales during the Lok Sabha polls in favour of the BJP on many seats, a state BJP leader claimed.
Deol’s father and well-known actor Dharmendra has roots in Punjab. He was born in Nasrali village in Ludhiana and spent his early life in Sahnewal near Ludhiana.
Prakash, a former IAS officer, is currently the legislator from Phagwara and will face Congress candidate and legislator Raj Kumar Chabbewal from the Hoshiarpur seat.