The Punjab BJP has found a penchant for celebrities to run for the upcoming elections.
The party has mulled names of several actors, including Poonam Dhillon, Akshaye Khanna, cricketer Harbhajan Singh, singer Hans Raj Hans and Sunny Deol, not as star campaigners but as official party nominees from Punjab.
However, there is a whole list of BJP leaders vying for party ticket whose names were also discussed and may give these celebrities a run for their money.
The BJP is an ally of the Shiromani Akali Dal in this borders state.
BJP state president Shiwait Malik will be meeting national president Amit Shah anytime soon in the national capital, which is when all these names will be put forth for discussion. It now remains to be seen whether the BJP goes with political acumen or celebrity power.
Out of the 13 parliamentary seats in Punjab, the BJP contests only 3 seats— Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur— as part of the seat sharing agreement between the two parties.
Candidature of Poonam Dhillon, Sunny Deol and Harbhajan Singh are being talked about for the Amritsar seat, it is learnt.
The BJP had retained the Gurdaspur seat when actor-turned MP from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna was alive.
The party is now pondering over giving the seat to either his celebrity son Akshaye Khanna or Vinod's wife.
The Amritsar seats is now a Congress bastion, courtesy cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The BJP banked on Sidhu’s celebrity image when the former cricketer was in the BJP.
Sidhu won the Amritsar seat thrice as a BJP nominee. He offered the same advantage to the Congress after he switched sides.
The Congress gained great advantage in the Assembly elections because of Sidhu’s entry in poll fray as a Congress nominee.
The BJP hopes to dent all this by roping in a celebrity from Amritsar.