The Bharatiya Janata Party has put down all speculations on the fielding of Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut for the upcoming bypoll in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, reports say. The actor hails from Mandi, which is a Parliamentary constituency.
This report says that the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur attended the party’s high level meeting at Dharamshala. He has reportedly said that the actor's name "never cropped up" at the state election committee meeting.
He is quoted as having added: “The ticket for the Mandi parliamentary constituency will go to a party worker, not any celebrity figure.”
The Mandi seat became vacant in March 2020. BJP MP from Mandi, Ram Swaroop Sharma, was found dead at his official residence in March. Polls will be held on 30 October.
Assembly polls in the Himalayan state will take place next year.
The finalising of candidates for the four byelections happened at this meeting. Out of the four bypolls, three are for assembly constituencies. They are Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki.
The Arki seat fell vacant after the passing away of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh in July. The Congress is reportedly considering fielding Pratibha Singh — wife of Virbhadra Singh — from Mandi constituency.
The BJP has completed one round of discussions on the prospective candidates. This report says that "one section of the party was averse to allotting the ticket to her".
The actor has not openly expressed her wish to contest the election.
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