Members of the erstwhile royal families in Himachal Pradesh are gearing up for the November 4 state assembly polls by attempting to use their 'royal' status to garner votes.
In this election, as many as six candidates with royal background -- with most of them contesting from the Congress, will be locking horns with commoners.
One of the most prominent names to feature in the list of royal candidates is five-time former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, former federal minister and senior Congress leader, Virbhadra Singh.
Contesting from Shimla (rural) assembly segment for the first time, Virbhadra Singh hails from the erstwhile Rampur Bushahr state and is popularly known as Raja Saheb.
Virbhadra Singh, 78, said that having a royal background provides an added advantage to the candidate, as voters of the constituency are already familiar with him.
"Of course it has an impact. You have a good reputation, people trust you, people have their faith on you and they bestow their blessings and so no one can challenge you," said Virbhadra Singh.
Other candidates from 'royal' families include Maheshwar Singh, Asha Kumari, Karan Singh, Anirudh Singh and Vijaya Jyoti Sen.
Anirudh Singh, having his roots in the erstwhile Koti state of Shimla district, is fighting election from Kusumpti seat on a Congress ticket for the first time.
He however dismissed the notion that candidates with royal background are an instant hit with the voters.
"A member of any royal family entering politics does not hold any relevance because our country is a democracy now. As you know there are many royal families in Himachal Pradesh but only those survive who are grounded. If you work for the people, then only you can survive. It is not true that if you are of a royal family, you will also get votes," said Anirudh Singh.
The single-phase election in Himachal Pradesh will take place on November 04 while counting of votes is scheduled to take place on December 20.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is making several attempts to seek another term for chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, who is leading the campaign.