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May 16, 2024

EC Rejects Shyam Rangeela’s Nomination for Varanasi Lok Sabha Seat

In a recent development in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, the Election Commission (EC) has rejected the nomination of comedian Shyam Rangeela, who intended to run as an independent candidate from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. Rangeela, known for his viral impersonations of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed his disappointment and alleged unfair treatment by the electoral authorities.

Rejection Due to Oath Issue

Rangeela revealed that the Varanasi district magistrate informed him of his nomination rejection due to his failure to take a mandatory oath, a procedural requirement he claimed ignorance of. “It was decided that I will not be allowed to contest from Varanasi, now it is clear. The heart is definitely broken, but the spirit is not broken,” Rangeela wrote on his social media account on ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, following the decision.

Allegations of Bias

This rejection comes after Rangeela had earlier accused the Election Commission of deliberately obstructing his nomination process. He asserted that the authorities were selectively accepting nominations, favoring certain candidates over others. Rangeela’s claims hinted at potential bias, given that Prime Minister Modi is a prominent candidate from the Varanasi constituency.

Filing Process and Hurdles

Rangeela’s journey to file his nomination was fraught with challenges. Initially, he alleged that his nomination was being impeded due to a purported lack of sufficient nominators, a criterion he insisted he had met. Despite these obstacles, Rangeela managed to submit his nomination just a few hours before the deadline on May 14.

“After completing all the documentation and procedures and overcoming other hurdles, we are now on the verge of becoming an option for the people of Varanasi,” Rangeela stated optimistically before his nomination was ultimately dismissed.

Appeal for Privacy

Following the rejection, Rangeela requested privacy and understanding from the media and his supporters. “Thank you all for your cooperation. I request the media and well-wishers to please not call now. Whatever information I have, I will keep sharing it here (on ‘X’). Perhaps I don’t feel like talking for a while now,” he expressed, indicating his need for some respite after the disheartening news.

Political Background

This year’s election was not Rangeela’s first foray into politics. In 2022, he joined the Aam Aadmi Party, led by Arvind Kejriwal. His decision to enter politics was driven by his concerns over the increasing intolerance towards satire and mimicry of politicians over the past decade. Rangeela believed that his comedic skills and public presence could offer a fresh perspective and alternative in the political arena.

Election Commission’s Stance

According to the Election Commission’s official website, a total of 17 nominations have been accepted for the Varanasi constituency. The commission has not publicly responded to Rangeela’s allegations of bias or obstruction, maintaining its focus on ensuring a smooth electoral process for the upcoming elections.


Shyam Rangeela’s exclusion from the Lok Sabha race in Varanasi has sparked conversations about the transparency and fairness of the nomination process. While his candidacy would have added a unique dynamic to the elections, Rangeela remains resolute and spirited despite the setback. As the Varanasi constituency gears up for its polling on June 1, all eyes will be on how the remaining candidates navigate the final phase of the elections.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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