Erstwhile royals have made the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls scenario exciting. Several members of former royal families of MP are contesting the 28 November polls on Congress and BJP tickets.
Yashodhara Raje, a member of the Gwalior Scindia royal family, is contesting from Shivpuri on a BJP ticket, while her nephew and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is the election campaign chief of the Congress. He is considered to be one of the chief ministerial hopefuls of the party.
Raghogarh, an erstwhile princely state and the home town of former chief minister Digvijay Singh, is in the news these days because his son Jaivardhan Singh and brother Laxman Singh are contesting from adjoining Assembly segments, Raghogarh and Chachoura of Guna district, on Congress tickets. Jaivardhan’s wife Shrijamya Singh is campaigning for her husbadn in Raghogarh while he holds roadshows and seeks votes in his uncle’s constituency Chachoura. He is also campaigning in Rajgarh district’s Assembly segments in favour of Congress candidates. Jaivardhan Singh had won by a huge margin of 59,000 votes in 2013, the highest among Congress MLAs in the state.
The former Maharaja of Rewa state Pushpraj Singh’s son Divyaraj Singh is contesting in Sirmour Assembly seat on a BJP ticket. He joined the party during the 2013 polls. Pushpraj Singh was minister in the erstwhile Digvijay Singh government but joined the BJP in 2004. He recently returned to the Congress during Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Rewa. Now Singh is working for Congress candidate Abhay Mishra in Rewa seat adjoining his son’s constituency Sirmour.
The tribal king Kunwar Vijay Shah, of the princely state of Makral and minister in Shivraj Singh cabinet, is contesting from Harsud seat (reserved for ST) on a BJP ticket.
Lok Sabha MP from Khajuraho consttuency and former king of Nogod state, Nagendra Singh, has been fielded from Nagod Assembly seat by the BJP. He is facing a tough fight from the Congress candidate and sitting MLA Yadvendra Singh.
Erstwhile royal of the Bundela state of Chatarpur in Bundelkhand region and three-term MLA Vikram Singh Nati Raja, is contesting from Rajnagar seat on a Congress ticket. Another candidate of this region from Alipura state, Manvendra Singh Bhanwar Raja, is contesting from Bijawar seat on a BJP ticket.
Some other royals are also in the election fray from various political parties in the state.
“Although the royal states no longer exist, the craze about royals still remains so people are excited about them contesting elections,” said Shobhana Sharma, a senior journalist.