The BJP is playing the ‘royal’ card to the hilt in the upcoming Dewas assembly by-election, where Gayatri Raje, the wife of the late Tukojirao Puar of the Dewas princely state, is the candidate.
The BJP banners and posters, stressing on the ‘royal’ lineage of the BJP candidate and the contribution of the family towards the development of Dewas, have been put up in the area.
The party is also attempting to milk sympathy for Gayatri Raje as the widow of Tukojirao Puar, whose death has led to the by-election. The voting takes place on November 21.
The BJP’s bid to encash the ‘royal’ brand does not end here. BJP poll strategists have given a prominent place to late Tukojirao’s son Vikram Rao Puar in all their banners and posters, undeterred by the fact that Vikram is an accused in a murder case and according to police records, is absconding. They have labelled Vikram as ‘Shrimant Maharaja Sahab’
The party’s move is being criticised by opponent and Dewas-based social worker Premdaya Pawar, who has even complained to the Dewas collector and returning officer, the state election commission and even the registrar high court in this connection.
In her complaint, Premdaya has pointed out that the use of words like ‘Shradhaya Maharaj’ for late Tukojirao and Shrimant Maharaj’ for Vikram is against the Constitution while has banned the use of titles by the erstwhile kings, princes and nawabs, whose estates were taken over and amalgamated into India.
The complaint also pointed out that both Tukojirao and Vikram were born after independence and hence technically never ‘ruled’ Dewas for even a single day.