Kangana is the ‘Queen’ in Mandi - Hindustan Times
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Kangana is the ‘Queen’ in Mandi

By, Dharamshala
Jun 05, 2024 07:44 AM IST

Ranaut, whose successful Bollywood outing with the film “Queen” had catapulted her to widespread recognition, secured 5,37,022 votes against Vikramaditya Singh, who polled 4,62,267 votes

The intense electoral battle in Mandi culminated in a dream debut for actor-turned politician and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate as she defeated Congress’ Vikramaditya Singh by a margin of 74,755 votes.

Kangana Ranaut thanking her supporters after winning the Mandi Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday. (Birbal Sharma/HT)
Kangana Ranaut thanking her supporters after winning the Mandi Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday. (Birbal Sharma/HT)

Ranaut, whose successful Bollywood outing with the film “Queen” had catapulted her to widespread recognition, secured 5,37,022 votes against Vikramaditya Singh, who polled 4,62,267 votes.

The 37-year-old has now taken the crown in the political arena. Reacting to her win, Ranaut said, “This was my first election, and I want to thank the people of Mandi for believing in me. I assure them that I will work tirelessly for the development of Mandi.”

The debutant raced to an early lead after counting began on Tuesday morning despite facing a formidable opponent in the form of Vikramaditya, a scion of the Bushahr royal family and the son of six-time former chief minister Virbhadra Singh and sitting Mandi MP Pratibha Singh.

After the early leads, the trends remained static. Notably, Ranaut led in all nine assembly segments falling under the district.

The leader secured 37,543 votes on her home turf in Sarkaghat against Vikramaditya’s 23,896 votes. From Seraj, the home assembly segment of former chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, Ranaut, polled 40,868 votes, compared to 26,170 votes for Vikramaditya Singh.

In his bastion of Rampur, however, the Congress candidate polled 39,187 votes to remain well-ahead of his opponent’s 17,750 votes.

“We have not only won the election, but have secured leads from all the assembly segments of Mandi district, demonstrating the trust the people of Mandi have placed in me. They have rejected the politics of ‘parivarvaad (dynastic politics)’. This election was fought in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is with his credibility that the BJP is going to form the government at the Centre for the third time,” Ranaut said.

From the four seats in Himachal, the electoral contest in Mandi was the most keenly watched given that both candidates had significant appeal amid the masses.

Addressing the public, Ranaut said, “I am proud to serve the people of Mandi. My motherland has called me back.”

The leader also elaborated on her vision for Mandi, saying “Every assembly segment under the Mandi parliamentary seat has their own demands and there are a lot of issues pending. I will look into these issues and we will start afresh.”

While Singh’s campaign focused on local issues, Ranaut relied on the PM’s appeal and the BJP’s achievements at the Centre in the last 10 years. From the abolition of triple talaq to the passage of the Women Reservation Bill in the Parliament last year and schemes like Ujjwala Yojana, she frequently highlighted schemes Modi launched in her campaign.

Pratibha Singh, Vikramaditya’s mother, had wrested the seat for the Congress in the 2021 Lok Sabha bypolls held following the demise of sitting BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, who had registered back-to-back victories in 2014 and 2019. Earlier in 2009, Virbhadra had won from Mandi, but resigned in 2012 to become the CM and Pratibha had at the time also won the bypoll in 2013.

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