Assembly elections 2018Candidates with royal tag seek mandate for 5 yrs

In Madhya Pradesh more than a dozen candidates coming from erstwhile royal families are contesting state assembly elections to make it to state assembly. Most of them are seeking re-election to assembly.

bhopal Updated: Nov 26, 2018 23:05 IST
Ranjan
Ranjan
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
assembly election,digvijaya singh,royal families
Sitting MLA from Raghogarh assembly constituency Jaivardhan Singh on election campaign in constituency(HT Photo)

Lakshaman Singh (63), a member of ersthwhile royal family of Raghogarh, who has been member of parliament five times and MLA twice goes upstairs with his followers to reach onto the roof of a building at the main square of Ukawad town, about 200 kilometers from Bhopal and a part of Chachoda assembly constituency, to address a gathering of people who include residents of nearby villages too as it is a day of ‘haat’.

Contesting as a Congress candidate from Chachoda assembly seat he tells people as to how Congress will take care of them right from their economic wellbeing to their health.

While concluding his speech he doesn’t forget to tell the gathering that there are some people who are spreading rumours that he (Lakshman Singh) will not visit the constituency being a member of the family of ‘Raja-Maharaja’ if he wins the election.

“I want to make it clear that in democracy it’s common people who are Raja-Maharajas. I am here to serve you”, he said to the gathering to draw applause from them.

About 50 kilometers away In the neighbouring constituency Raghogarh Lakshman Singh’s nephew and his brother Digvijaya Singh’s son Jaivardhan Singh (32) was seeking mandate for the second consecutive term in the state assembly.

Driving from one village to another in his SUV and walking from one house to another in villages, accompanied by Congress workers the sitting MLA from the constituency Jaivardhan Singh didn’t hesitate in touching feet of elders and embracing members of dalit community. He inquired about treatment of ailing people and wanted to know from them what he could do for them.

When asked about the advantage to him of his being a member of a known ersthile royal family Jaivardhan Singh said, “In fact, this tag becomes disadvantage sometimes. It’s true that when I won the election first time in the previous assembly elections my identity was that I am son of Digvijaya Singh but in the last public meeting of the previous election my father told me that he will not campaign for me any longer in any election and that I have to win the further elections on the basis of my performance only.”

When asked about advantage to him in the elections Lakshman Singh said, “My father had taught us that we should never think that we were from a royal family and that we should always remain grounded. One can’t win many elections just on the basis of being a member of a royal family. One has to perform.”

In Madhya Pradesh about a dozen candidates coming from erstwhile royal families are contesting the state assembly elections. Most of them are seeking re-election to the assembly.

Besides Lakshman Singh and Jaivardhan Singh, they include Yashodhra Raje Scindia, Divyaraj Singh, Priyavrat Singh, Vikram Singh Natiraja, Manvendra Singh Bhanwar Raja, Brijendra Singh, Vijay Shah, Sanjay Shah, Gayatri Raje Puar, Vikram Singh and certain others.

Mamta Meena, sitting MLA from Chachoda contesting against Lakshman Singh said, “Our fight is against Digvijaya Singh and his family. Digvijaya Singh won from this seat when he became the CM first time in 1993 but he never took care of this constituency. Though the era of Raja and Maharaja is gone, they still want to rule people by trying to win elections through any means.”

State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said BJP didn’t believe in supremacy of royal families. The party gave tickets to only those who were among people and served them.

State Congress media in charge Shobha Oza said Congress didn’t take into consideration any royal lineage in deciding the candidature for the assembly elections.

First Published: Nov 26, 2018 23:05 IST