Campaign Trail - Kangana Ranaut: From reel to real, Queen tries hard to ace role of Mandi’s daughter : The Tribune India

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Campaign Trail - Kangana Ranaut: From reel to real, Queen tries hard to ace role of Mandi’s daughter

Goes for the local touch with caps from across Himachal, but pearls and sarees belie her pahadi persona

Campaign Trail - Kangana Ranaut: From reel to real, Queen tries hard to ace role of Mandi’s daughter

BJP’s Kangana Ranaut tries to walk the local talk during her election campaign. Photo: Jai Kumar



Tribune News Service

Dipender Manta

Mandi, May 22

The switchover from portraying the life of a politician on screen to being a real life political leader is certainly not easy. One can witness this in Mandi as BJP Lok Sabha candidate Kangana Ranaut toils hard to woo voters.

Even though Kangana had been waiting in the wings to join politics for some time, the actual transition seems to be quite demanding.

BJP restricting media interaction

  • Considering her tendency of courting controversies, there is a clear attempt by the BJP to restrict her media interaction to a bare minimum
  • The responsibility of her campaign has been asigned to former CM Jai Ram Thakur, whose personal reputation is at stake in his home turf
  • However, he is often left playing second fiddle to Kangna, who prefers to be in the limelight and hog media attention
  • I am here to stay, athough might have to attend to earlier film commitments.

— Kangna Ranaut, BJP Candidate

Accompanied by local MLA and party workers, Kangana addresses five to six election meetings every day on an average and wraps her day by 10 pm. It is a routine campaign day as the Bollywood actress, dressed in a white salwar suit steps out of her parent’s house at Bhambla village at about 9 am.

Having woken up at 6 am, she finishes her yoga session and takes a quick breakfast before an interview. All requests for media interaction and interviews are turned down by her as she says that all such approvals are granted by none other than Prime Minister Office in her case. Considering her tendency of courting controversies, there is a clear attempt by the BJP to restrict her media interaction to a bare minimum.

In fact, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to say that the entire responsibility of her campaign rests on the shoulders of former CM Jai Ram Thakur, whose personal reputation is at stake as Mandi is his home turf.

Despite this, her glamorous persona has relegated Thakur to the background. The former CM is often left playing second fiddle to the ‘Queen’ who prefers to be in the limelight and hog media attention.

“People are instructed beforehand to maintain distance and not gather in a crowd around her. Besides, she prefers not to be garlanded around her neck and happily accepts marigold garlands in her hand,” says a party worker.

She gladly poses for selfies and photographs with people, but avoids taking any dry fruits or snacks served during meetings. She only takes mineral water or occasional hot tea to soothe her sore throat.

Though Kangana has built a house in Manali but her parents’ house remains the base for her campaign. Travelling in a luxury vehicle with her security personnel, no one else is allowed a seat inside, considering she is under Y security cover. In fact, her security personnel always form a cordon around her during campaign with even senior leaders being kept outside.

She has finished two meetings at Sardhvar and Bhangrotu Chalkha in Balh area of Mandi and it is time for lunch at Paidi village, where she is joined by former CM Jai Ram Thakur. She takes her meal with the senior leaders before addressing the gathering, which is eagerly awaiting to catch a glimpse of the ‘heroine’.

“Kuchh josh ni aaya karda, sab khana khae ke tulde lage, (There is no energy, it seems after having a meal you are all feeling sleepy),” she says in Mandiyali, the local dialect here.

In a desperate bid to shun the image of a heroine, she makes it a point to speak in Mandiyali and wear local attire, be it a dhatu, rejta, Kinnauri or Chamabiyali dress.

Considering the significance of caps in the state politics, she can be seen adorning the green Bushairi cap in Rampur and Kinnaur, the colourful Kulluvi cap in Kullu and the red velvet cap in Mandi.

Even as she tries to project the image of a typical “daughter of Mandi” in traditional costumes, the string of pearls and crisp organza sarees quickly belie that image.

Overcoming concerns about her accessibility and availability in Mandi, away from the glamour of the tinsel world, is probably her biggest challenge. However, she brushes aside such speculations as the products of the Opposition’s agenda and asserts that she is here to stay, athough she might have to attend to her earlier film commitments.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#BJP #Kangana Ranaut #Lok Sabha #Mandi


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