Wary of Kangana Ranaut’s star appeal, Congress to chalk out strategy for Mandi today : The Tribune India

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Wary of Kangana Ranaut’s star appeal, Congress to chalk out strategy for Mandi today

Wary of Kangana Ranaut’s star appeal, Congress to chalk out strategy for Mandi today


Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, April 18

The Congress is lagging behind in the election campaign due to the delay in finalising candidates. It will tomorrow chalk out its strategy for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, which is all set to witness a keen contest between BJP nominee Kangana Ranaut and Congress candidate Vikramaditya Singh.

Bjp’s lead in Seraj can dent Vikramaditya’s chances

  • The Congress’ strategy will be to get the maximum possible lead in Rampur, the home town of Vikramaditya, and in the three tribal Assembly segments of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Bharmour in Chamba
  • Pratibha Singh had got a lead of 20,000 votes in the 2021 Lok Sabha byelection in Rampur while in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had sprung a surprise by getting a lead in the constituency
  • The Congress is hopeful of getting a lead even in Kullu district having four Assembly segments of Kullu, Manali, Banjar and Anni
  • However, it is the amount of support that the Congress can generate in Mandi district which will determine the fate of Vikramaditya
  • Seraj, the home constituency of Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur, can upset the Congress’ calculations as the BJP is likely to get a mammoth lead there

Congress workers are eagerly awaiting the announcement of candidates for the Kangra and Hamirpur Lok Sabha seats and the six Assembly byelections. The ruling party will prepare a strategy to retain the Mandi Lok Sabha seat at an important meeting to be held here. Sanjay Dutt, AICC observer for the Mandi seat, will hold parleys with Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, state Congress president Pratibha Singh and Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh, who is the party candidate for the Mandi seat. The constituency is getting extensive media attention because Kangana is contesting elections.

The Congress’ strategy will be to get the maximum possible lead in Rampur, the home town of Vikramaditya, and in the three tribal Assembly segments of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Bharmour in Chamba. Pratibha had got a lead of 20,000 votes in the 2021 Lok Sabha byelection in Rampur while in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP had sprung a surprise by getting a lead in the constituency. Ashray Sharma, grandson of Pandit Sukh Ram, had fought the elections on the Congress ticket then.

The Congress is hopeful of getting a lead even in Kullu district having four Assembly segments of Kullu, Manali, Banjar and Anni. However, it is the amount of support that the Congress can generate in Mandi district which will determine the fate of Vikramaditya.

The Seraj Assembly segment, the home constituency of Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur, alone could upset the Congress’ calculations as the BJP is likely to get a mammoth lead there.

The Congress has sensed that it will not be easy to counter Kangana’s popularity as an actor and so it will have to work strategically to swing votes in its favour. The fact that six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh have represented the Mandi parliamentary seat thrice each gives an advantage to Vikramaditya.

However, the BJP has got a head-start in the election campaign and Kangana is likely to make it very difficult for the Congress to retain the Mandi seat. The BJP had won all four seats in Himachal in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll but the Congress bagged the Mandi seat in the 2021 byelection necessitated due to the demise of BJP MP Ram Swaroop.

The BJP was in power, both in Himachal and at the Centre, at the time of the 2021 Mandi byelection but Pratibha managed to wrest the seat by defeating the ruling party candidate and Kargil War hero Brig Khushal Thakur (retd). Pratibha had won the byelection by a slender margin while riding high on voters’ sympathy following the demise of her husband Virbhadra Singh.

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.

#Congress #Lok Sabha #Mandi #Shimla


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