Wednesday, 17 August, 2022
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Sunny Deol, action hero MP, is missing in action in Gurdaspur & farmers are booing him

Farm leaders say protesters will sit in a dharna outside his office and will not allow him to enter his constituency of Gurdaspur whenever if he plans to visit.

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Chandigarh: With protesting farmer bodies in Punjab having decided to boycott and gherao state BJP leaders, actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol, a first-time MP from Gurdaspur, finds himself in an unenviable situation.

Deol, who was present in the Lok Sabha when the contentious farm bills were passed two weeks ago, has towed the party line and supported the legislation.

He has been tweeting and retweeting the BJP’s stand on the issue, maintaining that farmers will benefit from the agricultural reforms that the three farm Acts envisage.

On 20 September, he retweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s post in Punjabi assuring famers that the system of procurement and Minimum Support Price (MSP) will continue. Deol urged farmers to understand what was in their interest.

But farmer leaders are not impressed. “Apart from boycotting him, a section of the protesters will be sitting on a dharna outside his office in Gurdaspur. Also, like other BJP leaders, we will not allow him to enter the constituency (if he decides to visit),” said Dr Darshan Pal, convener of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC).

The farmers who intensified their agitation Thursday said they would be boycotting the state BJP President Ashwani Sharma and the other MP from Punjab, Som Parkash, who is also the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry. 


Also read: After a year of silence, Navjot Singh Sidhu back in limelight with attack on farm Acts


‘Deol is working’

Earlier this month, Deol had visited his constituency and met officers of its two districts — Gurdaspur and Pathankot. He had a a long meeting with the Pathankot senior superintendent of police following the the brutal murder of cricketer Suresh Raina’s relatives in Pathankot.

Pankaj Joshi, the in-charge of his constituency, told The Print that Deol has initiated several projects to secure Pathankot and Gurdaspur. “There have been terror attacks on Pathankot because it borders J&K and Gurdaspur in any case has a long border with Pakistan,” Joshi said. “A major project of having control rooms where CCTV images of the entire traffic entering and leaving Pathankot and Gurdaspur is visible has been made functional.”

“The other works like roads, bridges etc are continuing for which he met Nitin Gadkari recently,” Joshi added.

‘Absent’ MP

But people of the constituency rue that Deol is not much to be seen in the area. In January this year, posters came up on the walls of the Pathankot Railway station saying —Gumshuda ki talash MP Sunny Deol (Missing MP Sunny Deol).

“He has been visiting his constituency quite regularly and even while he is not here, his office in Gurdaspur is functional. Even during the lockdown, our office was working,” said Joshi, adding that the MP has done “tremendous work” during the Covid crisis.

“Several Indians from our constituency who got stuck abroad or in outside cities were brought back,” Joshi said.

Last year, Deol had appointed his personal assistant to carry out works on his behalf during his absence in the constituency. The move had sparked a controversy, which Deol had dubbed as “unfortunate”.

In his first ever election last year, Deol had defeated sitting MP and Congress party chief Sunil Jakhar by over 80,000 votes.

Poor Lok Sabha performance

Deol remained largely absent from his first Lok Sabha session last year, not attending the House for 28 days out of the 37 days that it functioned. “That was because he was busy with his son’s film release (Karan Deol’s Pal pal dil ke paas) last year. After that session, he has been regular in attending the sessions,” Joshi said.

During the winter session last year, Deol attended 13 of the 20 days. This year, however, he attended only three days.

The list of questions asked show that Deol has asked only one question till date in the Lok Sabha — about illegal mining.


Also read: Amarinder vows to fight ‘malicious, anti-national’ farm laws through agitation, legal action


 

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