Some media reports are doing the rounds that Akshay Kumar might contest from actor and BJP leader Vinod Khanna’s seat in Gurdaspur, Pathankot(Punjab), that has fallen vacant after the latter’s demise. It’s being said that only a Bollywood biggie can fill the shoes of Khanna. Along with Kumar, Rishi Kapoor, Raveena Tandon and singer Sonu Nigam’s names are also being considered, according to an article published by a news website. The website has quoted sources in BJP as the basis of the story. The BJP source apparently told the news portal that Akshay’s patriotic image, as portrayed both on-screen and off-screen, might work in his favour. He has been called ‘Mr Bharat’ by the said source.
The fact of the matter is that this is no Rajya Sabha election where a government nominee can become an MP. The chosen candidate, whether from Bollywood or not will have to contest election, unless other parties decide not to field candidate against them.
Coming back to Akshay Kumar’s name being considered as a replacement for Khana; there is no doubt that Akshay Kumar could make for an excellent Member of Parliament and would be an able replacement for the very efficient Khanna, given his philanthropic initiatives and his frequent call for love for the country and the soldiers.
Unfortunately, Khanna’s CV would get rejected at the very starting. He cannot contest any kind of election in India, let along contesting for a Lok Sabha seat. In fact, he can’t even vote in India. Reason? Khanna is a Canadian citizen. So, the media reports based on sources and speculation isn’t true.
Here’s another report from a news channel
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 4, 2017
Canada offered him citizenship. He also promoted Canada tourism. In an interview The Economist he said:
I have a strong affiliation with Canada and also have dual citizenship. It’s a place that I really love—the open terrain, the scenery, the wide roads and the clean streets. It’s the complete contrast of my homeland, although I love India for all the opposite reasons and it’s my home. I was honoured with a doctorate degree from The University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, for my contribution to the Indian film industry and for my social work in Canada.
The dual citizenship bit is a little misleading as India doesn’t allow that. One has to give up, Indian citizenship if they accept any other country’s citizenship.
According to Indian Election Commission website: “A non citizen cannot be a contesting candidate in the elections. Article 84 (a) of the Constitution of India envisages that a person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill up a seat in the Parliament unless he is a citizen of India. Similar provision exists for State Legislative Assemblies in Article 173 (a) of the Constitution.”
So for this reason Akshay Kumar cannot contest from Pathankot or replace the late MP Vinod Khanna.