Bollywood actor and BJP candidate from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat Sunny Deol on Thursday said creating employment opportunities for the youth will be his main priority.

Asserting that he came to Gurdaspur to serve the people and not to return to Mumbai, Deol, whose real name is Ajay Singh Deol, also praised the tenure of late BJP MP and actor Vinod Khanna and said he will take his work forward while seeking voters’ support for winning this border seat.

“The most important issue (for me) is our youth. Youth is our foundation. I want creation of job opportunities for them,” said Deol in his first media interaction after being named as candidate for Gurdaspur seat.

He also said he wanted to work for the welfare of the farming community.

“We belong to Punjab and farming is in our blood. I want to understand all their issues and do whatever is possible for their welfare,” the actor said.

On Wednesday, Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar had accused Deol of having no understating of Punjab issues and asked him to share his vision for Gurdaspur constituency, telling him that “politics is a serious business and not a time pass activity”.

Appreciating the work done by late BJP MP Vinod Khanna, Deol said, “Vinod ji has worked here for 20 years and he worked a lot here. After him, I got a chance to work (for this constituency). I want to work the same way Khanna did. I belong to people here and I will never hurt them. I will try to meet up to their expectations.”

Khanna, who was fielded by the BJP from Gurdaspur seat in 1998 for the first time, was a four-time MP. Khanna passed away in 2017.

Deol said he was happy to be announced as BJP candidate for Gurdaspur constituency.

“I am very happy because I have got a chance to (work for people here). Everybody knows me because of my films. People of Punjab and country love me a lot and I stay in their hearts. Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has worked very well during last five years and I want that he should win again this time,” he said.

“You have seen, I have worked in film industry and there also I talked less and my work spoke for me. Here I also want that my work should speak rather than I say something,” said Deol.

Deol also sought to allay fears that he would return to Mumbai after elections. “I have not come here to return,” he said.

Currently, the Gurdaspur constituency is represented by Congress MP Sunil Jakhar who won the seat in the 2017 by-poll, which was necessitated after the death of Vinod Khanna in April that year.