Six royal family members from BJP and Congress in Rajasthan poll arena

In their manifestos released in the last week of the campaign, the two main parties in the contest – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress – catered to a wide range of economic groups

Jaipur: “Mai thansu dur nahi” (I am not far from you)– the most popular slogan of Jodhpur’s 28-year-old King Hanwant Singh Rathore, won the hearts of the people across the Marwar in 1952, leading his new political party Akhil Bharatiya Ramrajya Parishad swiping around 30 out of 33 seats in the region in the very first state assembly poll post-independence.

In the same year, the King of Bikaner, Karni Singh Bahadur, also stepped into the Parliament, winning the Bikaner constituency as an independent candidate.

Cooch Behar’s princess of the Narayan dynasty and the queen of Jaipur Gayatri Devi, in 1962, also contested in the Lok Sabha election as a candidate of the Swatantra Party and remained a three-time MP from the seat.

Despite the royal families losing their ruling rights after the independence, Rajasthan– which has always been synonymous with the valourous tales of the blue blood in history– continued being strongly influenced by the erstwhile kings and queens in the modern democratic era.

According to a member of the Rajput organisation Pratap Foundation, Mahaveer Singh Sarvadi, “The association of the members of around 18 royal families of the state with the major political parties has always played a crucial role in the poll arena as most of them remained successful in building a pro-people image in society irrespective of any caste and community.”

“People yet view the royal family members with high esteem and believe that the kings and queens are the only ones who would listen to their demands and put the best effort to fulfil them. They can shelter them. This is such a comprehensive image, which is always the key to the success of the royal families in the political ambit,” he said.

While Bahadur, Rathore, and Gayatri Devi paved the way for the royal clans in the political ambit post-independence, their descendants, such as Vasundhara Raje, Siddhi Kumari, Diya Kumari, and many others, kept on carrying the legacy.

Like every election, the political parties in Rajasthan have pitted around six members of the royal families in the upcoming state assembly poll due on November 25- of whom five were fielded by the BJP and one by the Congress. Here is a listicle.

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