Yudhvir Singh Judeo is a proud Hindu by his own admission. But this orthodox son of former Bilaspur parliamentarian late Dilip Singh Judeo travels in an SUV bearing a number ending with 786, considered auspicious by Muslims.
Further, for the last 13 years if he has blindly trusted anyone out of his family and allowed to move with him like his shadow, it is Anwar Hussein, a friend and guide from his home town Jaspur.
The BJP legislator, who is seeking a second term from Chanderpur constituency in Chhattisgarh, sees no contradiction there. “This car has been very lucky for me”, he tells HT.
But luck had little to do with Yudhvir’s first-time coming in politics.
In the 2008 assembly elections, when at the age of 26 he secured a berth in the assembly on a BJP ticket, he had his father, a seasoned and powerful politician, to guide and lead him to victory.
Judeo senior still surpasses him in popularity, but Yudhvir, now 31, is confident of his win.
So how does he rate his chances with his father not around to canvas for him? “His absence is certainly felt, but there is hardly any fight as my rivals have lost steam,” says the 6 ft 3 inch tall ‘Baba’, a moniker from his childhood days that his supporters continue to use endearingly.
Chanderpur, a river-locked constituency in Janjgir Chapa district adjacent to Chhattisgarh’s industrial town, Raigarh, is a small semi-urban town locked between Mand and Mahanadi rivers. It has no historical connection with the royals of Jaspur.
Its large population of OBCs, SCs and tribals has barely any Rajputs. That Yudhvir, a Rajput, is seeking reelection from here speaks volumes of the royal family’s clout among voters here.
“My father was a hero,” says Yudhvir. “He stopped the atrocious Ajit Jogi from plundering the state and forcibly converting people. He brought the BJP to power.”
Through their Operation Ghar Wapasi, the Judeos’ claim to have reconverted at least eight lakh converted Christians into Hindus. Perhaps, that also explains why the BJP leader doesn’t think too much of his Muslim connections.