Mandi – In a charged political move, Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh filed his nomination papers for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat on Thursday, marking the beginning of what promises to be a heated electoral battle. Singh wasted no time in taking a veiled jab at his opponent, BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut, accusing her of prioritizing “politics of entertainment” over the imperative “politics of development.”

Addressing the supporters gathered at the nomination filing, Singh remarked, “We are committed to the progress and development of our constituency, while our opponent seems more inclined towards theatrics.” He further emphasized his point by likening Ranaut’s campaign to a “picture” directed by Leader of Opposition Jairam Thakur, predicting its failure at the “box office” come June 1, the day of the election.

Accompanied by prominent figures including his mother and state Congress chief Pratibha Singh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, and Congress Working Committee member and Himachal Pradesh in-charge Rajiv Shukla, Singh criticized Ranaut’s campaign tactics. “Despite her continuous verbal assaults on Congress leaders, she has failed to articulate a coherent vision for the constituency,” Singh asserted.

Highlighting his vision for Mandi, Singh pledged to transform it into a smart city and outlined plans for infrastructure development, including the construction of the Jalori Jot tunnel, akin to the iconic Rohtang tunnel, to connect remote areas like Pangi in Chamba. “My commitment to the people of Mandi runs deep, and I aim to strengthen the longstanding bond between us,” declared Singh, who hails from the lineage of the late Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

Singh also touted Congress’s track record of development in the region, citing the establishment of an IIT and a medical college in Mandi, as well as the construction of the Kirathpur-Nerchowk four-lane highway. Moreover, he assured electorates of continued support, referencing the party’s assistance during last year’s monsoon disaster and promising to address pending issues such as the Goods and Services Tax, revenue deficit grant, and the old pension scheme once elected.

The electoral contest in Mandi has now gained momentum, with Singh positioning himself as the torchbearer of progress and development, while Ranaut’s campaign style continues to draw scrutiny. As the countdown to June 1 begins, all eyes remain fixed on this high-stakes battle for parliamentary representation in one of Himachal Pradesh’s key constituencies.