Bollywood actor Sunny Deol joins BJP

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Sunny Deol, son of veteran actor Dharmendra, on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Deol, who met BJP President Amit Shah last week, joined the party here in the presence of Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman.

The BJP, in an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab and is contesting from three of the 13 parliamentary seats – Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur.

Welcoming him to the party, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman referred to his blockbuster 1997 movie “Border” based on an episode from the India-Pakistan of 1971. “Sunny Deol made the film Border which showed how the feeling of nationalism and patriotism when portrayed beautifully on film can touch a chord with the people,” Sitharaman said.

It cannot be acting when it comes from the heart,” added Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

Sunny Deol’s last movie was “Mohalla Assi”, shot in PM Modi’s Varanasi constituency. His character was shown participating in kar seva (volunteer) for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

After his meeting with Amit Shah last week, Sunny Deol had been non-committal. “I heard about the rumours that I am joining politics. I just met him (Amit Shah) and we took a photograph, that’s it,” he had said.

The BJP, which has an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, is fighting three of the 13 parliamentary seats in Punjab: Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur.

Gurdaspur was the constituency of veteran actor Vinod Khanna, who died in 2017. There was a buzz for some time that the BJP may field his wife Kavita Khanna or son Akshaye Khanna from there.

Sunny Deol, 62, is best known for his action hero roles in films like “Ghayal”, “Gadar: Ek Prem Katha”, “Damini” and “Border”.

He is the third Deol to join politics – and the BJP – after Dharmendra and his wife Hema Malini, also veteran actors.

Dharmendra had a brief stint in politics about 10 years ago, when he contested the 2004 national election from Rajasthan’s Bikaner on a BJP ticket and won. Hema Malini is fighting for re-election from Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura.

Punjab will vote in a single phase, on May 19, the last day of the seven-phased national election. The results of the staggered polls will be announced on May 23.

(With agency inputs)