Union minister and sitting MP of Jodhpur Chandresh Kumari might not get active support from her brother and erstwhile ruler of Marwar Gaj Singh this time, as the royal palace has not indicated anything that lends support to her till now.
Congress candidate Chandresh Kumari being greeted by her brother Gaj Singh in Jodhpur. (HT Photo)
Campaigning for the first phase of voting for the general elections ended on Tuesday evening, but Singh did not come out in support of his sister, who is contesting for the second time from Jodhpur.
After delimitation of the constituencies, Jodhpur became a Rajput-dominated constituency and the Congress gained from this in the 2009 LS election by fielding Kumari. She also enjoyed active support from her brother in defeating BJP candidate Jaswant Singh.
However, she is facing a tough time this time, as the BJP has fielded Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from the same-caste against her.
It was expected that the royal family would openly support Kumari this time too, which would help the Congress candidate to polarise Rajput votes in her favour, but the silence of Singh is a matter of concern for the party and Kumari.
However, Kumari claimed that the entire family stands united.
The Congress leader’s mother Krishna Kumari, who also served as the MP from Jodhpur in 1991, came out to inaugurate her election office after filing the nomination. But, the people in Jodhpur are still awaiting the brother-sister duo on a public platform during the poll canvassing.
Both of them were seen together in Mehrangarh fort during the puja on eighth day of Chaitri Navratra, but since then, the royal family has been keeping mum about the elections.
“The royal family has a strong hold over the Rajputs of the region, and their support could be helpful for any candidate,” Govind Shrimali, a political analyst, said, adding that during the last elections Singh canvassed for his sister and she won with huge margin of over 90,000 votes.
He said this time it was more significant as the BJP has already taken an edge over the Congress in poll campaigning. Apart from two mega meetings of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Ratkudia and Balotra of Barmer and a public address via a 3D hologram, chief minister Vasundhra Raje and other party leaders have canvassed for its candidates.
On the other hand, no big leader, except former CM Ashok Gehlot, has come out in support of Kumari. This apart, the Congress has failed to hold any mega meeting of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi in entire region.