It will be the first time when the ‘Rani’ (queen) of an erstwhile princely state of Rampur Bushahr, Pratibha Singh will be in the fray without the support of beloved ‘Raja Sahab’ Virbhadra Singh as the Congress candidate from Mandi Lok Sabha seat mentioned in her first public address.
After filing nomination papers in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh where she was accompanied by AICC secretary Sanjay Dutt, state Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore and the Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri among others, Pratibha Singh remembered the way former CM Virbhadra Singh used to care for her.
“I was feeling sad today as ‘Raja’ is not beside me as he used to be by my side on each step and decision in my life. Now I am feeling the void as he used to protect me from crowds and used to keep an eye on me to ensure that I am not inconvenienced and carefully lead my way in public meetings,” she added.
Singh stated that many Congress leaders and workers came to her by saying that Virbhadra Singh used to help them in times of crisis and now they too, like her, were feeling helpless.
This led to her taking the decision of contesting elections, she said, while thanking people gathered at the public meeting for taking time to visit the venue to support her.
She further stated that we need to work hard for bypolls to the Mandi Lok Sabha seat as it was the biggest constituency which includes Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur, Mandi, Kullu districts and Bharmour assembly segment of Chamba district.
“I won’t get enough time to visit each and every area as there are only 15-20 days left for polls but all party workers should take the responsibility to spread the party’s message among masses to ensure a win in bypolls,” Singh said.
She also commented on her loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and said last time, we became overconfident and didn’t make efforts which led to results going against her.
But we should not repeat the same mistake this time and work hard to ensure party’s win these bypolls, she added.
She also took a jibe at BJP candidate from Mandi Lok Sabha seat Brig Khushal Singh Thakur and said he had done a commendable job in the Indian Army but it is political and not a battleground as people will decide their fate in the poll battle.