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Rajasthan polls: Many royals in the fray


Swati Vashishtha,CNN-IBN
Nov 24, 2013 at 11:17am IST

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Jaipur: A battle royale is set to unfold with both ruling Congress as well as BJP in opposition fielding a candidates from erstwhile royal houses in generous proportions for Rajasthan Assembly poll on December 1. Close to a dozen former royals are in the fray for the assembly polls this time.

Like all other elections in Rajasthan, this time too candidates from royal houses are in the fray. Diya Kumari of the Jaipur royal family is campaigning hard as a BJP candidate in Sawai Madhopur. Locked in a contest against son of soil Kirori Lal Meena from NPP and Danish Abrar of the Congress, Diya Kumari may not be strongly placed, but her confidence is high.

Diya Kumari said, "I also have a strong connection with Sawai Madhopur older than any of them and I'm sure that will speak for itself. Today I saw it among the people, I saw all the love they gave me and how much they want me here I see it all the time. And that counts more than anything else."

Just kilometres away in Bharatpur Vishvendra Singh of the former royal house of Bharatpur is contesting on a Congress ticket. And contesting from Tijara for the party is Duru Miyan, the Rajasthan Health Minister and erstwhile nawab of Loharu. But the BJP is fielding as many as seven candidates with royal roots, including former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, MLA Rohini Kumari of Karauli and Siddhi Kumari of Bikaner.

Siddhi Kumari said, "My grandfather Karni Singh Ji Maharaja Sahib of Bikaner served the people of Bikaner for 25 years."

In the land of shifting sands one thing that refuses to shift is the loyalty to royalty whether it's about the royals wanting to stay in public life through a political career or about the people wanting to vote them in. The royal connection of the desert seems like its here to stay.

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