The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday fielded actor Sunny Deol as its candidate from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab hours after he joined the party, while sitting lawmaker from Chandigarh Kirron Kher was renominated from the Union Territory. The party has also nominated Som Prakash as its candidate from Hoshiarpur in Punjab replacing Union Minister Vijay Sampla.
With the announcement of these three candidates, the party has declared its nominees for 437 seats, the highest number of Lok Sabha constituencies it has contested so far.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sunny Deol, who has played the lead role in blockbusters such as ''Ghayal'', ''Gadar'' and ''Border'', joined BJP in the presence of Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister Piyush Goyal.
The development came days after he met BJP president Amit Shah in Pune.
"The way my father was attached with Atalji, today I have come to join Modiji. Whatever I can do for this family (BJP), I will do it.... I won't talk, I will show you through my work," Deol said while addressing the media at the party's headquaters.
His father Dharmendra was BJP lawmaker from Bikaner in 2004. Deol will take on Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur, which was in the past represented by the late actor Vinod Khanna from the BJP.
Welcoming Deol into the party, Ms Sitharaman said:
"The moment we got to know that he is coming to the party, I can only relate to the film Border he had made, post which the impact on the Indian audience of such a theme was really proven.... "The feeling of nationalism and patriotism, when so beautifully evoked through a film, can really touch the core of Indian citizen."
Deol understands the pulse of people and "is inspired by the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is serving the cause of the people, and keeping India''s glory high," she said.
The party has announced candidates for 437 seats out of 545 so far. In 2014, it had contested 428 seats. The BJP had contested 433 seats 2009, 364 in 2004 and 339 in 1999.
(With inputs from PTI)