Bolangir (Orissa): The split in the BJP-BJD alliance has brought a royal feud to the fore in Orissa's Bolangir district. As many as five members of the royal family are contesting the Lok Sabha election and they're fighting each other.
BJP MP from Bolangir, Sangeeta Singhdeo says, "My husband is a popular and loved being a BJP MLA. If his sister-in-law wanted to contest, she could have contested from any other constituency from BJD. Why choose the constituency of my husband? This is like a family feud that is seen in Balaji Telefilms serials."
The election battle in Bolangir is nothing short of a soap opera for the royals have distinct political affiliations.
While three times BJP MP Sangeeta Singhdeo is contesting against her brother-in-law and BJD MLA Kalikesh for the Bolangir lok Sabha seat, BJP MLA and former minister Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo is fighting his sister-in-law and BJD candidate Prakriti Devi for the Patnagarh seat.
That's not all, BJD MLA and works minister A U Singhdeo is campaigning against the royal couple.
Not to be leftout of this battle royale, 'Rajmata' Premalata Kumari Devi is campaigning against her elder son - Kanak Vardhan in favour of Prakriti Devi.
Premalata Devi says, "I have always campaigned for all the members of my family when they started politics. This time I want to do it for my younger daughter-in-law - Prakriti."
While the family has been fighting over possession of ancestral properties for some time now, the contest in the world of politics has come out in the open only after the historic split in BJP-BJD alliance in the state.
The Congress party isn't complaining. It has not been able to win in this state for over a decade now.
Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Bolangir, Narsingh Mishra says, "These people still project themselves as 'Maharajas and Maharanis' to win votes. This is unconstitutional and violation of election code of conduct."
Sixty per cent of people in Bolangir live below poverty line and 45 per cent of the population is illiterate. With these statistics, no matter whichever member of the royal family or political party wins, the fate of the people in Bolangir hardly seems to change.