Jaipur, Dec 6: Charmed with the battle of ballots, scions of royal families from erstwhile principalities in Rajasthan are entering the fray for December 7 Assembly elections from several constituencies.
Among the royals, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is the senior-most BJP candidate, who is contesting the Jhalrapatan seat in Jhalawar district for the fourth successive term for the state legislature. Prior to this, she had also represented Jhalawar constituency in the Lok Sabha for five successive terms.
This time, Ms Raje, the daughter of the Gwalior royalty, and former queen of Dholpur, is facing a tough contest in her bastion following entry of the Congress nominee and former union minister Jaswant Singh's son incumbent MLA Manvendra Singh.
However, Ms Raje certainly has a strong hold in the entire Jhalawar since 1989 when she won her maiden parliamentary election. After her shifting to the state politics in 2003 to become chief minister, her Jhalawar Lok Sabha seat has been held by her son Dushyant Singh for three consecutive terms.
Another contestant from the royal class, Kalpana Devi, the wife of scion of former Kota royal family Ijraj Singh, is a debutant in the electoral politics. She is contesting Ladpura Assembly seat in Kota town for the ruling BJP. Ijraj Singh had won 2009 Lok Sabha general election from Kota on a Congress ticket. Ms Kalpana Devi's entry in poll politics marks Kota royals switching over from Congress to BJP.
Besides, scion of Kundanpur in Kota division former Minister Bharat Singh(Congress) is in the fray for wresting back his Sangod seat from the saffron party. The long-time MLA was defeated in the previous 2013 elections. His late father Jhujhar Singh was also a former MP, legislator and a long-time Minister in erstwhile Congress-led regimes.
Assembly Deputy Speaker Rao Rajendra Singh, scion of Shahpura principality in Jaipur district is seeking re-election from his native town. Mr Singh is facing a triangular contest with former Gujarat Governor Kamla's son Alok(Independent-Congress rebel) and Congress nominee fresher Manish Yadav also in the fray.
Scion of former Nawab of Loharu and former Minister Aimamuddin Ahmed alias Durru Mian is in the fray from Tizara in Alwar district where he faces challenge from BJP candidate Sandip Dayma a new face and son of former Minister late Jagat Singh Dayma.
Former princess of Bikaner sitting MLA Siddhi Kumari is re-contesting her Bikaner-East seat on BJP ticket. The two-timer is attempting her third consecutive term to the state legislature.
Scion of Bharatpur royals, Vishvendra Singh is re-contesting the Deeg-Kumher seat of Bharatpur district on a Congress ticket. The former Lok Sabha MP Singh's wife Ms Divya Singh is also an ex-MLA. Singh is facing straight contest against BJP first-timer and former Minister Dr Digambar Singh's son Dr Shailesh.
Singh's cousin and daughter of former ruler of Deeg Raja Mansingh, Ms Krishnendra Kaur alias Deepa is seeking re-election from Nadbai. Ms Deepa, a former MP is Minister in the Raje Government.
Scion of erstwhile Khimsar royals in Nagaur district and a senior member of Raje cabinet Gajendra Singh Khimsar is contesting from Lohawat against Kishna Ram Bishnoi (Congress).
Another prominent royal, sitting MLA and former princess of Jaipur Diya Kumari is not contesting polls this time. There are contradictory hints about her exclusion.
The sitting legislator from Sawai Madhopur was reportedly keen to re-contest for the same seat, but, the party was said to be under pressure from sitting Rajya Sabha MP Meena strongman Dr Kirodi Lal Meena for accommodating his supporter Asha Meena on the seat.
However, party sources said that the daughter of the last titular ruler of Jaipur Brigadier Bhawani Singh is kept out of contest for fielding her in the Lok Sabha general elections next year. (UNI)