68-year-old Khanna, who has appeared in over 140 films, including 'Haath ki Safai', 'Hera Pheri' and 'Muqaddar Ka Sikander', dismisses talk of anti-incumbency against the ruling SAD-BJP and criticizes Congress' Bajwa, claiming he was a "non-performer". (Agencies)
Khanna, who has represented this constituency thrice (1998, 1999 and 2004), was defeated by Bajwa in 2009.
“Everybody is riding the Modi wave. There is no question about that,” he said on Saturday.
He appears quite confident that over 13 lakh electors in this seat will reward him for development works undertaken during his previous stints as MP here.
Charging that the present condition of this constituency was akin to a "patient" due to lack of proper development, Khanna says Gurdaspur needs to be "injected with the medicine of development" as soon as possible.
Accusing Bajwa of having remained absent from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency during his stint as MP, Khanna alleges that the state congress leader failed to bring a single development project to Gurdaspur.
"He has not done a single project here, not even a small bridge. Where he has spent the MP funds nobody knows," Khanna alleged and claimed that he got three bridges built here apart from getting a Rs 350 crore package for the revival of Dhariwal mill.
Khanna is livid at the Congress candidate for labelling him "Mumbai Ka Babu".
"I am Mumbai Ka Babu but he has not shown his face here in the last five years. I come every month and I own a house in Pathankot," Khanna says.
"He has not given a single penny to any village or ward. Where he has given money is a big question mark," he adds.
Promising that he would get the goodies, Khanna, who had donned the hat of Union Minister for Culture and Tourism in 2002, says, "We will get special package from Modiji. I can guarantee you that. Once we get a special package, industry will come to border districts only and create employment here.
"Then I need to revive the roads and build world-class highways, get approval for more trains with connectivity to key centres in the state and other parts of the country," he adds.
The BJP candidate, who does not find Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Sucha Singh Chhotepur to be a strong candidate, is hoping to get support from his "rivals within the party".
"My losing the 2009 election was due to factors within the party. There was no anti-incumbency, in fact, due to delimitation, new areas were added to the constituency and our strongholds went out of the constituency area," he opines.
Sharing details about his agenda for Gurdaspur, Khanna says he wants to promote the site as a favourite tourist destination in the country by developing key areas like Dera Baba Nanak and Baath Sahib Gurdwara.
"My aim is to make this region a tourism hub with a focus on adventure and spiritual tourism. I also want to ensure better health facilities so that people don't have to rush to other cities for specialised treatments," says Khanna.
Upbeat after getting good response during the campaigning, Khanna obliges fans by mouthing famous dialogues from his films.
"I do not think there is an anti incumbency. (Parkash Singh) Badal sahib has done so much for poor with welfare schemes across the state," he says.
Asked about AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal staging a good number of roadshows in several places in Punjab, Khanna says, "I do not deny AAP started off very well in Delhi... So much of media attention was given to Kejriwal. (But) everybody knows he was a failure in Delhi.”
"Most of the AAP people are not competent to run a government. They have no experience. I do not think he (AAP candidate) has any chance in these polls," he adds.
Khanna expressed hope that all the 13 seats in Punjab will be won by the BJP-SAD combine. Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, at present Congress has eight MPs, SAD four and its alliance partner BJP one. Punjab will go to the polls in a single phase on April 30.
68-year-old Khanna, who has appeared in over 140 films, including 'Haath ki Safai', 'Hera Pheri' and 'Muqaddar Ka Sikander', dismisses talk of anti-incumbency against the ruling SAD-BJP and criticizes Congress' Bajwa, claiming he was a "non-performer".