Kangana Ranaut secures significant lead in Mandi seat

Prameyanews English

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

Kangana Ranaut

Mandi (Himachal Pradesh), June 4: In the battleground between "royalty" and "reel", Bollywood's 'queen', Kangana Ranaut, of the BJP, on Tuesday secured a significant lead against Congress legislator Vikramaditya Singh, the scion of the erstwhile royal family, with 72,696 votes in the Mandi parliamentary constituency. 

This sprawling 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 the win of 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 by-poll, necessitated by the death of Ram Swaroop Sharma, the BJP had pitted Brigadier Khushal Thakur (retired), a decorated officer who played a crucial in the 1999 Kargil war, against Pratibha Singh, who won the seat largely in the sympathy wave after the passing away of her husband, Virbhadra Singh.

 

(IANS)

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