Rajasthan Royals to try luck in electoral battle
Jaipur, Apr 28: Once ruled by princely states, Rajasthan once-royal families that make political debuts find they remain huge crowd-pullers.
Leading the group is Dushyant Singh, son of former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje who is the Maharani of Dholpur.
A BJP MP from Jhalawar-Baran consecutively for three terms, Dushyant is striking a personal chord with the voters of his constituency, with which he and his mother, Vasundhara Raje, have been associated for more than 3 decades now.
He is seeking votes, citing development works done under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former chief minister Raje.
Raje remained the BJP MP from Jhalawar-Baran for consecutive five terms from 1989 till 2003, when she became the chief minister of Rajasthan for the first time. Dushyant took over the baton from his mother and has remained unbeaten as an MP from Jhalawar-Baran since 2004.
Pitted against Dushyant Singh is Congress' Pramod Sharma, a confidant of Manvendra Singh, the son of estranged NDA minister Jaswant Singh. Sharma was earlier with the BJP.
Fielded from Rajsamand parliamentary seat, where polling will be held in the fourth phase on April 29, Diya Kumari would be fighting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time.
Diya Kumari, whose father Sawai Bhavani Singh had unsuccessfully dabbled in politics, has been a BJP lawmaker from the Sawai Madhopur Assembly seat in the past and is contesting the parliamentary election for the first time from Rajsamand.
She always flags her non-royal background when she engages with voters.
Diya Kumari is pitted against the Congress's Devkinandan Gurjar in the April 29 poll.
Jitendra Singh, who is the Congress candidate from Alwar, began his political career in 1998 when he was first elected to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. A twotime MLA, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 and appointed a junior minister in the then UPA government in 2011.
He was not the first member of the erstwhile royal family of Alwar to enter politics. His mother Mahendra Kumari had represented Alwar in the Lok Sabha as BJP MP from 1991 to 1996.
His opponent is the BJP's Mahant Balak Nath, a disciple of former MP of the area late Mahant Chand Nath.
In the past too, members of the royal families have ventured into politics and become MPs.
Chandresh Kumari of the Jodhpur royal family represented the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat in 2009 and went on to become the Union minister for culture in 2012 in the Manmohan Singh government. Chandresh Kumari is the daughter of Hanwant Singh of Jodhpur royalty and is married to the royal Katoch family in Kangra.
Similarly, Ijyaraj Singh of the Kota royal family was also elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 on a Congress ticket. His wife has since joined the BJP and had unsuccessfully contested the assembly seat in 2018.
The fate of three members of the erstwhile royal families will be decided in two phases of polling on April 29 and May 6.