I was not allowed to file nomination against PM Modi: Shyam Rangeela

Today, 14 May, is the last day for filing nominations, with Varanasi going to polls on 1 June

PM Modi in Varanasi after filing his nomination (photo: PTI)
PM Modi in Varanasi after filing his nomination (photo: PTI)

NH Digital

Stand-up comedian and mimicry artist Shyam Rangeela, best known for his videos mimicking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has alleged that he has not been allowed to file his nomination papers to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi constituency against the prime minister.

Today, 14 May, is the last day for filing nominations, with Varanasi going to polls in the seventh and last phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on 1 June. Rangeela's claim, which he has made in a video post on X, has been picked up by several media outlets.

PM Modi, who is seeking a third term from Varanasi, won the seat by nearly 4.8 lakh votes in 2019, while in 2014 elections, the his margin of victory was 3.72 lakh votes.

Though the PM filed his nomination papers with great fanfare today, 14 candidates had already filed their nomination form for the constituency, both candidates from national political parties and independents. Among them were Congress candidate Ajai Rai and Bahujan Samajwadi Party's Athar Ali Lari.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Congress leader Surendra Rajput said, "Everyone is free to file a nomination, including PM Modi. However, some people are not being allowed to file their nominations from the constituency. A YouTuber named (Shyam) Rangeela, who wished to file a nomination from Varanasi, isn’t getting nomination papers from the administration. Why is PM Modi afraid of people? Let them contest against you."

Originally a native of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, Rangeela began his career in animation, but became known for his mimicry skills, especially of political figures, going on to participate in the TV show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. On 1 May, he released a video statement announcing his decision to contest against PM Modi in Varanasi.

Though his mimicry of PM Modi has brought him widespread fame, Rangeela has also mimicked other political figures such as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Having started out as a supporter, he gradually grew critical of PM Modi and his policies, and was vocal about his disapproval. Even in the video announcing his candidacy he can be heard mimicking PM Modi.

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