Following its tradition of having people from royal families as political figures, Rajasthan is set to have assembly elections on Saturday (25 November) with six such contestants in the fray.
Of these, five are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and one, Vishvendra Singh, is from Congress. Vishvendra is a three-time BJP MP but joined Congress in 2008.
Since then, he has been contesting the assembly elections from the Deeg Kumher seat of Bharatpur district with one loss (2008) and two victories (2013 and 2018).
This time too, he has got a Congress ticket from there and his opponent is BJP's Shailesh Singh, son of Digamber Singh, who defeated Vishvendra in 2008. However, Shailesh lost to Vishvendra in 2018.
Vishvendra is the son of the last ruler of Bharatpur– Brijendra Singh. He is the minister of Civil Aviation and tourism in the third Ashok Gehlot cabinet.
Coming to the BJP, its most popular face and two-time Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje hails from Gwalior’s Scindia royal family and was married to King Hemant Singh of Rajasthan’s Dholpur royal family.
She is contesting from Jhalrapatan, a seat in Jhalawar district, which she has represented four times since 2003. To take on Raje, Congress has fielded a fresh face, Ram Lal Chauhan.
Another royal family member from the BJP is its Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari, who is contesting from Jaipur's Vidhyadhar Nagar constituency.
Being the daughter of Gayatri Devi’s foster son Sawai Bhawani Singh, she is a member of the Jaipur royal family. She was an MLA from Sawai Madhopur in 2013.
Congress has fielded businessman Sitaram Agrawal against Kumari. Agrawal lost to BJP's Narpat Singh Rajvi in 2018. However, Rajvi has got the ticket from Chittorgarh this time.
A new joinee to the BJP, Kunwar Vishvaraj Singh Mewar is contesting in his maiden election from Nathdwara against Congress' assembly speaker CP Joshi.
He hails from the Udaipur royal family and is a descendant of Maharana Pratap. His father Mahendra Singh was the last coronated king of Mewar and became a BJP MP from Chittorgarh in 1989.
Siddhi Kumari, the granddaughter of former MP Maharaja Karni Singh Bahadur is the BJP candidate from Bikaner East, a constituency she has served since 2008.
She is the princess of the Bikaner royal family. Congress has nominated its seasoned leader Yashpal Gehlot against her.
Another incumbent MLA and member of royal family, Kalpana Devi is the BJP candidate from Kota's Ladpura seat. She is the wife of Maharao Ijya Raj Singh, thus making her the queen of Kota.
Ladpura is a BJP stronghold as the party has held this seat since 2003. However, Kalpana is only a one-time MLA as she entered politics in 2018.
She defeated Congress' Gulanaz Guddu. In the upcoming elections, Congress has fielded Naimuddin Guddu, Gulnaz's husband and the secretary of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee, against Kalpana.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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