Lok Sabha polls: Kangana Ranaut's 'barking dogs' spark another Rajput revolt

"Her statement is not just an insult to BJP workers but to the entire community," says Karni Sena leader Suraj Singh

Kangana Ranaut at a poll rally (photo courtesy @KanganaTeam/X)
Kangana Ranaut at a poll rally (photo courtesy @KanganaTeam/X)

NH Political Bureau

In a dramatic turn of events, BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut has found herself at the centre of a major controversy just days before the final phase of polling.

The actress-turned-politician has referred to her party workers and leaders as 'dogs', igniting widespread criticism and backlash from both within and beyond her party.

Ranaut made the controversial remark during a campaign event, and the furore quickly spread across social media and news outlets, drawing condemnation from various quarters.

The Karni Sena, a prominent Rajput organisation, reacted strongly by announcing a boycott of Ranaut. The group has appealed to Rajputs to vote against her, calling her comments disrespectful and unbecoming of a leader.

"We cannot support someone who has no respect for her own party members and leaders. Her statement is not just an insult to the BJP workers but to the entire Rajput community," said Karni Sena leader Suraj Singh.

The fallout within the BJP has been equally severe. Local BJP cadres in Mandi have reportedly expressed their dissatisfaction and anger over Ranaut's comments. Sources indicate that a significant faction within the local party structure is now in open revolt, potentially jeopardising her candidacy.

An anonymous senior BJP leader from Mandi expressed the workers' concerns, saying, "Her remark has demoralised the workers who have been tirelessly campaigning for her. It's a serious blow to our efforts and could have a substantial impact on our performance in the upcoming elections."

Political analysts suggest that this controversy could lead to a significant setback for Ranaut. The timing of the controversy, just ahead of the last polling day on 1 June, could sway undecided voters and erode the support base she has built up over the past few months.

Ranaut attempted to clarify her statement: "My words were taken out of context. I have the utmost respect for my party and its workers. I apologise if my remarks hurt anyone."

Despite her efforts to mitigate the damage, the controversy continues to dominate headlines. The opposition parties have naturally seized the opportunity to criticise the BJP's choice of candidate, questioning Ranaut's suitability for a political role.

With the end of the elections approaching and Himachal ready to finally vote, it remains to be seen how this controversy will affect the BJP's prospects in Mandi.

All four constituencies will vote in the last phase on 1 June.

Mandi, often referred to as Little Kashi and historically known as Mandavya Nagar, holds immense significance as one of Himachal Pradesh's four Lok Sabha constituencies. In this crucial seat, BJP's Kangana Ranaut is contesting against Himachal Pradesh’s PWD minister Vikramaditya Singh, the 34-year-old son of the late Virbhadra Singh, a six-time chief minister of the state.

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