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Regret allowing son to fight elections, says Dharmendra

May 14, 2019

Former Bollywood actor Dharmendra has said that he would never have allowed his son Sunny Deol to contest the national elections from Gurdaspur, Punjab if knew that his son would be fighting against Sunil Jakhar of the Congress party.

Sunny Deol, who is fighting on a BJP ticket, was inducted into the party less than a month ago.

Balram Jakhar was like my brother. Had I known his son Sunil Jakhar was contesting from Gurdaspur, I would have not allowed Sunny to contest against him. - Dharmendra, Actor

62-year-old Sunny Deol is the third member of the family to join politics. His stepmother Hema Malini is seeking re-election from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, while Dharmendra fought as a BJP candidate from Rajasthan's Bikaner in 2004 and won.

Dharmendra also called Sunny a a political novice, who "cannot debate" with an experienced politician like Sunil Jakhar. "Sunny cannot debate with him as he (Sunil) is an experienced politician and even his father was a very experienced politician, but we come from the film industry. Moreover, we are not here to debate but to listen to the plight of people as we love this land".

Sunny Deol has also said he is politically inexperienced. "Look, I do not know much about politics but I am a patriot. I have come here to connect with you because I want our Punjab and our country to scale new heights," he had said.

Dharmendra, 83, was in Gurdaspur on Sunday to campaign for him and said that he was watching the crowds gathered for his son's rally on TV in Mumbai and became emotional. "I was watching the roadshow from Mumbai and there was a big crowd. I got emotional. I know people love us but I was surprised by seeing so much love".

Punjab will vote on 19 May in the last phase of national elections. The fight between actor Sunny Deol and Sunil Jakhar is among the most closely watched contests in the seventh phase. Gurdaspur has always been a BJP stronghold. Actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna won this seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014. Sunil Jakhar won the seat in the 2017 by-elections after Khanna's death.

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