Bollywood’s 'queen' Kangana wins Mandi seat

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 04, 2024 IST

BOLLYWOOD

Mandi (Himachal Pradesh), June 4 : In the battle between "royalty" and "reel", Bollywood's 'queen', Kangana Ranaut, of the BJP, on Tuesday secured a win against Congress legislator Vikramaditya Singh, the scion of the erstwhile royal family, with a margin of 74,755 votes in the Mandi parliamentary constituency.  

She polled 5,37,022 votes, while her nearest rival Vikramaditya got 4,62,267 votes, said the Election Commission of India. 

There were 10 candidates in the fray. 

There were 5,645 NOTA (none of the above) votes. 

After winning the seat, she expressed gratitude to Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur for ensuring her win. 

“We fought this election in the name of Narendra Modi. It is the result of his credibility and his guarantee and the faith of people in him that we are going to form the government for the third time,” she told the media. 

Expressing gratitude to the people, Congress candidate Vikramaditya said, “I thank the public of Mandi who voted for me in large numbers. I congratulate BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut for winning the Mandi Lok Sabha seat. 

“The arrival of PM Modi, Yogi Adityanath and Nitin Gadkari had an impact on the polls. A clear-cut mandate (Congress winning four Assembly bypoll seats) has been given by the people of Himachal Pradesh against attempts to disrupt the Congress government by BJP. 

“The factor of PM Modi did not work in the nation. INDIA bloc has performed very well.” 

The sprawling Mandi constituency, one of the toughest and covering almost two-thirds of the state, witnessed the clash of heritage and stardom. 

Previously, this seat was represented by Pratibha Singh, the mother of Vikramaditya who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Keonthal state. She's a three-time MP from Mandi. She declined to re-enter the fray, saying senior party leaders had proposed Vikramaditya's name as they were of the opinion that "he's young, energetic and a good orator with influence over the youth and will be a good competitor for Kangana". 

Addressing a rally in Mandi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the aspirations of the youth and the importance of women's empowerment. 

"The Congress has not yet arrived in the 21st century. While people progress, Congress moves in the opposite direction. It's heading back to the 20th century. The Congress royal family is staunchly against daughters. The entire Congress is vehemently anti-women. But for my family in Himachal, listen to me carefully, and educate your daughters well," he said. 

Political observers told IANS that Kangana, who too belongs to the hill state, has an edge over Vikramaditya, who largely banks on his rich family political legacy, as she started her election campaign much ahead of the main arch-rival. 

Amid the campaigning there was a war of words between them too that got personal, like "Chotta Pappu" and "beef eater". 

Two-time legislator Vikramaditya, 35, who described Kangana, 37, as his "badi behen" (elder sister), is the Public Works Minister in the state government led by Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, while Kangana made her political debut. 

Mandi is the home district of BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur, the first Himachal chief minister from Mandi. 

In most of the election meetings and during campaigning, he was accompanying Kangana. Thakur, who contested the Assembly election in 1998 and since then consecutively won all six Assembly elections with a huge margin, lost the Mandi Parliamentary bypoll to Virbhadra Singh's wife, Pratibha Singh by 1.36 lakh votes in 2013. 

Kangana belongs to Bhambla village near Hamirpur town, some 200 km from the state capital Shimla. 

She owns a cottage in the picturesque tourist resort of Manali, which is part of the Mandi Parliamentary constituency. 

In his election meetings, former chief minister Thakur, whose focus was to ensure a win on the Mandi seat, has been often quoted as saying: "Kangana is the daughter of Mandi, which is called Chhoti Kashi. She has brought glory to Himachal and Mandi in the film industry." 

Historically, the Mandi constituency has favoured scions of erstwhile princely states, electing "royals" in 13 out of 19 elections, including two bypolls since 1952. 

In the 2021 Mandi bypoll, necessitated by the death of Ram Swaroop Sharma, the BJP had pitted Brigadier Khushal Thakur (retired), a decorated officer who played a crucial role in the 1999 Kargil war, against Pratibha Singh, who won the seat largely on a sympathy wave after the passing away of her husband, Virbhadra Singh. (IANS)

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