Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh mocked Bollywood actor and BJP's new star recruit Sunny Deol over his recent comments on the Balakot air strikes, calling him a "showpiece". This is second time in the last two weeks that the senior Congress leader took a swipe at Mr Deol.
"While (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has been taking credit for Balakot, this man (Sunny Deol) does not even know what had happened there," said Captain Amarinder Singh.
On Tuesday, the 62-year-old actor, who recently joined the BJP and was named its candidate from Punjab's Gurdaspur seat, had acknowledged he is new to politics. "I do not know much about issues like Balakot strikes or India's relations with Pakistan. I am here to serve people; if I win maybe I will have an opinion, right now I don't," he told NDTV.
In response, Mr Singh also mocked the BJP's focus on national security. "This showed the calibre of the people that BJP is seeking to impose on the people of India," he said.
The Punjab Chief Minister went further to take a jibe at Mr Deol's step-mother Hema Malini, another one of BJP's star candidate and a sitting MP. "These actors are just showpieces. Hema Malini did not open her mouth once in the Lok Sabha, where she represented Mathura for five years," he said.
Since the terror attack in Pulwama that killed over 40 CRPF soldiers and the subsequent air strikes of Balakot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP have made national security and nationalism the key theme of this election.
Last month, Mr Singh, who also served in the Army, said that Sunny Deol "is a filmy fauji (soldier), while I am a real fauji," he had said in an apparent reference to Mr Deol's character in the 1997 film 'Border'.
"Sunny might have played 23 Punjab's (Regiment's) Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri in (movie) "Border", but that does not make him a real soldier," he added.
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