Himachal: Kangana faces public ire in Spiti, BJP blames Congress - Hindustan Times

Himachal: Kangana faces public ire in Spiti, BJP blames Congress

By, , Dharamshala/shimla
May 21, 2024 09:04 AM IST

During campaign in remote district, Mandi BJP candidate shown black flags; former CM Jairam Thakur cries foul, says Congress rally was allowed at same venue, leading to tension

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mandi candidate Kangana Ranaut had to face a protest by local residents at Kaza, the district headquarters of Spiti, where she was campaigning on Monday.

Mandi BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut addressing a party rally at Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti district on Monday. (HT Photo)
Mandi BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut addressing a party rally at Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti district on Monday. (HT Photo)

The protesters showed her black flags and raised slogans, asking her to go back. The residents of Spiti, most of whom follow Buddhism, were expressing anger as the actor-turned-politician had shared an offensive social media post last year showing a photoshopped image of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama with US President Joe Biden. She had apologised for sharing the post.

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The situation turned tense when her motorcade drove past the protesters. There was a face-off between supporters of the BJP and the Congress. The BJP alleged that the confrontation was orchestrated by the Congress and some workers were injured.

It is learnt that the protest by local residents was scheduled but more people joined it, leading to the faceoff. Kangana had to wrap up her speech in a hurry.

Former chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, who was accompanying Kangana, said, “We were here to address a rally. We had permission but the local administration also allowed the Congress to hold a rally near our venue. They tried to disrupt our rally and our convoy was stopped when we were returning. Stones were thrown at us and one of our workers was injured. This is condemnable.”

BJP files complaint with Election Commission

The BJP then approached the Election Commission, demanding action against the local administration for allowing Congress to hold a simultaneous event, saying it could have affected the law and order situation.

BJP office secretary Pramodh Thakur in his complaint alleged that the political procession was subjected to a life-threatening attack by the Congress workers, putting the lives of the participants at grave risk and resulting in a grievous injury to a BJP worker.

“Moreover, black flags were also shown to the BJP procession, and slogans were raised against Kangana Ranaut. The election agency must be immediately transferred from Lahaul-Spiti as it appears that permitting both the party in the same location at the same time is a big lapse on the part of the election commission even though permission to BJP was provided first,” he added.

At the rally, Kangana said, “This election is about making India self-reliant. The INDIA bloc is only an alliance of families with corruption on their mind, while in the past decade, the country has progressed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.”

People of Kaza angry with Kangana: Vikramaditya

Kangana’s opponent and Congress’ Mandi candidate Vikramaditya Singh also took note of the incident, saying, “I have not much knowledge about the incident but when I visited Kaza, people expressed anger over the offensive remarks about his Holiness Dalai Lama, which had left a bad impact on the people of the area and I think it’s the result of that sentiment among people.”

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