Who is Vikram Mastal, ‘Ramayan’ actor contesting against Shivraj Chouhan?
The Congress on Sunday released its first list of 144 candidates for Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, scheduled to be held on November 17. The list includes former chief minister Kamal Nath, who will be contesting from his stronghold Chhindwara.
Among the candidates fielded include Vikram Mastal, a television actor who has been fielded against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Budhni.
Mastal is best known for playing the role of lord Hanuman in Anand Sagar's 2008 television show Ramayan. In the show, Gurmeet Choudhary played the role of Lord Ram while Debina Bonnerjee was seen as Goddess Sita. Mastal joined the grand old party in July this year. Nath was present at the actor's induction into the party.
Recently, the actor 'condemned the language used' by Hanuman in film Adipurush saying that the kind of lines used in the film hurt the sentiments of people and they should be removed.
"How you want the world to perceive Indian culture? Would we have visited the temple to worship Hanumanji if He had actually been like this in the Ramayana? It is obvious that your goal in creating this movie is a financial benefit. I am against Om Raut ji and the writer of the film and ask them to remove these dialogues from the movie," he had said.
Besides Ramayan, Mastal featured in movie Top Gear (2022), web series Battle of Saragarhi (2017) and Aashram (2020).
The Congress' list of 144 candidates includes 47 candidates from the general category, 39 from OBC, 30 from ST, 22 from SC, one Muslim, and 19 women. Sixty-five of the candidates are under the age of 50. It also includes the name of former chief minister Digvijaya Singh's son Jaivardhan Singh, being fielded from the Raghogarh seat.
Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already announced candidates for 136 assembly constituencies. In its fourth list released on October 9, the saffron party had announced that CM Chouhan would contest from the Budhni seat.
The Budhni seat has been a stronghold for Chouhan. In the last assembly elections, Chouhan won the seat by a margin of over 58,000 votes, defeating former Union minister and senior Congress leader Arun Yadav.
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls on November 17 in a single phase while counting of votes will take place on December 3.