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Why Has Congress Pitted A Young Minister Against Actor Kangana Ranaut?

The Congress which lost a Rajya Sabha seat after six of its MLAs cross voted to the BJP candidate is trying to amp up its game in the Lok Sabha polls by fielding a royal heavyweight — PWD minister Vikramaditya Singh for Mandi in Himachal Pradesh against actor Kangana Ranaut. The Queen film actress has been in the limelight ever since BJP announced her nomination from Mandi. Historically, the Mandi constituency has favoured scions of erstwhile princely states, electing royals in 13 out of 19 elections, including two polls since 1952. However, with Singh and Kangana competing against each other from Mandi, the politics of Himachal has spiced up. Vikramaditya is the son of six-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh. His mother Pratibha is the sitting MP from Mandi and the Congress’s state unit president.  Pratibha Singh did not want to contest as MP. Himachal Congress leaders said Vikramaditya was the best bet against BJP bulwark. BJP sources said Kangana was a self-made woman and symbolised what any driven person can achieve. Resting on the laurels of his family, Vikramaditya was conscious that his father Virbhadra Singh and mother had each won from Mandi thrice. He called Kangana “queen of controversies”, the actress termed him “Chota Pappu”. Party sources said before entering the fray both Pratibha and Vikramaditya had called on Sonia Gandhi. It is quite possible the Singhs may have sought a post-election deal — a deputy CM post for Vikramaditya if he fails to win.