Sunny Deol has appointed a representative Gurpreet Singh Palheri to look after his parliamentary constituency Gurdaspur. There has naturally been uproar over this unconventional approach to serving one’s constituency after being democratically chosen.
Several of Deol’s colleagues from the film fraternity spoke off record to this writer deriding his decision to be a proxy parliamentarian. One of them even said this was only to be expected. “Didn’t he say that he knew nothing about politics? But he was willing to learn on the job? Now he is not willing to do even that. His personal assistant will stand in for Sunny in his constituency. Good good. We get the leaders we deserve.”
Ex-parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha feels representing one’s constituency is a huge democratic responsibility. “You cannot say you don’t have time to be in your constituency. Those who have voted for you have done so with immense expectations. You can’t play with their expectations.”
Adds industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit, “One should decide one’s choices before one takes a call. Getting into politics is a very big decision. It’s a responsibility towards people who have voted you into power, and also those who have not voted you. People create faith in you and hence when you back out it’s a breach of trust, which is unpardonable. Working for people is a serious commitment and a big sacrifice. One cannot work for people with stand-ins and doubles.”
However singer-parliamentarian-cabinet minister Baabul Supriyo defends Sunny Deol’s unorthodox politicking. Baabul says, “I see a very positive intent in his endeavour. An MP is not and cannot practically be present in his parliamentary constituency all the time. He has made sure that there is someone present all the time. That’s called appointing an Office Representative. As long as the MP makes frequent trips to his constituency and remains on the same page in- sync with his representative, I see it as a very positive intent.”
Baabul condemns the Opposition for condemning Deol. “The Congress is almost non-existent in the minds of the people hence trust them to come up with non-issues and look everything negative light , the ‘kind of light’ that’s shining bright on them and their existence and relevance in Indian Lives and Politics.”
One only needs to look at the volume of work being done by Sunny Deol’s stepmother Hema Malini in her constituency Mathura to know how seriously she takes her job as a parliamentarian.
While she understandably refuses to comment on the controversy surrounding Sunny’s representational politics Hemaji did comment on her own schedules. “I am more in my constituency in Mathura than at home in Mumbai. When I was elected for a second innings in parliament I made a promise that I needed to complete all my promises. I will fulfil all my promises to the people of Mathura and then quit politics.”