Fate works in miraculous ways sometimes. This is the story of Shyam Rangeela. He is a comedian and content creator who shot to fame by mimicking Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And now, he is contesting the Lok Sabha Elections against PM Modi in Varanasi! How crazy is that?!

In a post on X, Shyam Rangeela said, “I am excited by the love I am receiving from all of you after the announcement to contest elections from Varanasi. I will soon present my views to you on my nomination and contesting the elections through a video message after reaching Varanasi.” Hours later, Shyam Rangeela shared a video message with the caption, “Varanasi, I am coming.

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Know Shyam

Born and brought up in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh, Shyam Rangeela studied animation. He is known for his mimicry skills, especially of political figures. Shyam had also participated in ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ on TV. Rangeela first forayed into politics when he joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2002. However, later, he decided to work independently, saying that “he is his own master.

The 29-year-old comedian, Shyam Rangeela became widely popular on social media for the first time in 2017 when his mimicry act of Prime Minister Modi went viral. Since then, Shyam has been making videos mimicking the PM from his speeches and interviews. His content gets views in millions. Apart from Modi, Rangeela has also made mimicry videos of other political figures such as Rahul Gandhi.

The comedy content creator used to be a Modi ‘Bhakt‘. But for quite some time now, Rangeela has been critical of PM Modi and his policies, which is evident in his videos. Even in the video announcing his candidacy, there are some parts where he’s mimicking PM Modi’s voice.

What Made Him Change His Mind?

In one of his interviews, Shyam Rangeela recounted his journey from being a supporter of PM Modi to a disillusioned critic, citing restrictions imposed on his comedic work as a turning point. “I was a bhakt (fan) even till 2016-17, but then restrictions were imposed on me,” he said.

Rangeela said that the “politics of today” resembles the “politics of comedy”, which influenced his decision to go up against the PM. Even though he will be facing Narendra Modi in the elections, Rangeela remains undeterred. He believes anyone can contest an election against the Prime Minister as it’s a democratic process and hopes to win the Varanasi seat with public support.

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In his election announcement video on May 1, Rangeela cited the BJP’s unopposed victory in the Surat constituency and the controversy in the Chandigarh mayoral polls. “I feel like it shouldn’t be that there is no other candidate to vote for. Even if one person wants to vote against a candidate, he or she has that right. Someone’s name should be on the EVM,” he said in his video posted on X.

My candidature will give the people of Varanasi an option while voting, unlike in Surat and Indore. So, I will go to Varanasi this week and file my nomination against Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Shyam Rangeela said. The comedian is willing to fight the elections against the Prime Minister, regardless of the outcome.

The Varanasi Allure

With PM Modi in the fray, the contest for the Varanasi seat becomes symbolic. The Congress has put forth its Uttar Pradesh unit chief, Ajay Rai, from Varanasi. Among other candidates, transgender Mahamandaleshwar Hemangi Sakhi is in the running for the high-profile seat in Uttar Pradesh.

The Varanasi parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh will vote in the seventh polling phase of the Lok Sabha election 2024 on June 1. The results will be declared on June 4. PM Modi will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi, the BJP had announced in its first list of 195 candidates for the polls.

Does Shyam Rangeela, the comedian and ex-Bhakt have what it takes to compete with the PM himself? The polls will tell. Let’s wait and watch!