Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday described Sunny Deol, who recently joined the BJP, as a “filmi fauji”, in an apparent reference to the Bollywood actor’s popular war film, Border. Singh claimed that Deol, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gurdaspur candidate, had no ground support in the constituency.
Asked about the entry of Deol into the contest, Singh quipped: “He (Deol) is a filmy ‘fauji’ (soldier), while I am a real ‘fauji’.”
Singh had served in the Army, while Deol played a leading role in JP Dutta’s ‘Border’, a 1997 film based on the Battle of Longewala during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
“Sunny might have played Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri in Border film, but that does not make him a real ‘fauji’,” the chief minister said while accompanying state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar during the filing of nomination papers for Gurdaspur.
The chief minister described Deol, 62, as an aging actor whose acting career was “over”. “He (Sunny) will come and go,” Singh said.
When pointed out that Deol’s latest movie, ‘Blank’, was set for release next month, the Congress leader told reporters: “He will draw a blank (in the election).”
Singh dismissed the possibility of any threat to Jakhar from Deol and exuded confidence that the BJP candidate would be defeated.
Deol joined the BJP on Monday and was fielded from Gurdaspur. The actor is pitted against Jakhar, Aam Aadmi Party’s Peter Masih and Punjab Democratic Alliance’s Lal Chand.
Actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna had won the Gurdaspur seat for the BJP in 2014, but Jakhar won from the constituency in the 2017 by-polls after Khanna’s demise.
The chief minister, meanwhile, claimed that the Congress would win all the 13 Lok Sabha seats and the mood across the state was upbeat and totally in favour of the Congress.
Punjab goes to polls in the last phase on May 19.