Contesting Against Modi, Comedian Shyam Rangeela Files Nomination From Varanasi After Facing 'Hurdles'

Shyam Rangeela, known for mimicking PM Modi, alleged earlier on Tuesday that he was not being allowed to file his nomination from the Varanasi constituency, where PM Modi is also contesting from.

Comedian Shyam Rangeela had announced to contest against PM Narendra Modi Photo: X/@ShyamRangeela

Comedian Shyam Rangeela filed his nomination as an Independent candidate from the Varanasi seat of Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 after facing some "hurdles" in the process on Tuesday, May 14, the same day Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed his papers for the same seat.

Shyam Rangeela, known for mimicking PM Modi, alleged earlier on Tuesday that he was not being allowed to file his nomination from the Varanasi constituency, where PM Modi is also contesting from.

In a video, Shyam Rangeela was seen asking a group of policemen why he was not being allowed beyond the police barriers in order to file his nomination.

A police officer informed him that entry had been closed due to security reasons and that he should come back after 12 pm. “There are other candidates as well. We have informed them too,” the police officer told him.

"Varanasi Election Commission Office... 14th May, 9:15am approx. reached,... There is no answer coming from anywhere,... But we haven't given up hope of getting nominated yet," Shyam Rangeela captioned the video.

Rangeela said he had waited all through May 13 but was not allowed to file his nomination.

On Monday, May 13, Rangeela even wrote a letter to the chief election commissioner in New Delhi demanding that he be allowed to file his nomination.

Rangeela said that on Monday, he went to the office of the returning officer (RO) in Varanasi at around 1:30 pm and had fulfilled all formalities for the nomination, but was not allowed to enter the designated premises to file his papers.

He alleged that officials deliberately delayed the process so that many candidates like him could not file their nomination against Modi.

Rangeela in a post on X on Tuesday also alleged that nominations were being taken only of those whose nominations the EC "wants to take" in Varanasi.

"Even if the Election Commission takes the nominations of all the candidates who have come to Varanasi and cancels some, I guarantee that 500 people will still be seen contesting the elections here! But here, nominations are being taken only of those whose nominations they want to take. If our nomination is not done even after so many complaints then it is a matter of concern @ECISVEEP," he said.

After much uncertainty, Shyam Rangeela was able to file his nomination on Tuesday and said on X, "With your love and support, I have filed my nomination by fulfilling all the requirements as per the rules. I still have full faith in the democracy of this country. Now the next two-three days will be important."

Thank you very much to all of you for your cooperation. My electoral future is in the hands of all the election officials who are the guardians of our democracy… with the hope that they will all strengthen our faith," he said.

PM Modi Files Nomination From Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also filed his nomination in Varanasi on Tuesday in an event attended by several NDA leaders, including Union ministers and chief ministers, in a show of strength as he seeks a third term from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.

PM Modi reached the district collectorate after a busy morning, which included an aarti on the banks of the Ganga at the Dashashwamedh ghat and prayers at the city's Kaal Bhairav temple.

Immediately after filing his papers, the prime minister headed for the Rudraksha Convention Centre to address local party leaders and workers.

After filing his nomination, PM Modi posted on 'X', "Filed my nomination papers as a candidate for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. It is an honour to serve the people of this historic seat. With the blessings of the people, there have been remarkable achievements over the last decade. This pace of work will get even faster in the times to come."

"I am honoured by the presence of our valued NDA allies in Kashi today. Our alliance represents a commitment to national progress and fulfilling regional aspirations. We will work together for the progress of India in the years to come," he added.

In a separate post in Hindi, the prime minister said, "Heartfelt gratitude to my family members in Kashi... The love and blessings I have received from all of you in the last 10 years have inspired me to work with full determination. With your support and participation, I will continue to work with new energy for the all-round development of this place and the welfare of the people in my third term as well. 'Jai Baba Vishwanath'!"