Three erstwhile royals contesting from Rajasthan

Three erstwhile royals contesting from Rajasthan

Diya kumari taking selfie with her supporters

The erstwhile royal families of Rajasthan may have had to let go of their traditional form of governance after Independence, but they substituted that with participation in electoral politics, right from the 1952 Lok Sabha elections.

While the erstwhile royals are just as enthusiastic this time, there is a slight decline in the number of candidates contesting compared to the 2014 polls.

This time, three ex-royals are contesting the polls from the desert state.

The Congress has fielded former Union minister Jitendra Singh, of the erstwhile Alwar royal family, from the Alwar constituency.

Jitendra Singh

The BJP, on the other hand, has fielded the daughter of the erstwhile Maharaja of Jaipur and former BJP MLA Diya Kumari, from the Rajsamand Lok Sabha constituency, and sitting MP and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant Singh from Jhalawar in the Kota parliamentary seat.

In the 2014 polls, four royals were in the fray during the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP had fielded Dushyant Singh, who won for the third time from Jhalawar.

Dushyant Singh

The Congress fielded three royals but all lost owing to the Modi wave, where the saffron party swept all 25 seats in the state.

In Alwar, Jitendra Singh of the Congress lost to the BJP; in Jodhpur, ex-royal Chandresh Kumari of the Congress lost to Gajendra Singh Shekhawat of BJP; in Kota, Congress candidate and erstwhile royal Ijyaraj Singh lost to Om Birla of the BJP.

This time, the Congress has fielded Jitendra Singh (48), a member of erstwhile Alwar royal family against BJP's Mahant Balak Nath.

Singh, a confidant of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was a minister in the Manmohan Singh.

Similarly Diya Kumari (48), member of Jaipur's erstwhile royal family, will contest from Rajsamand against the Congress' Devi Nandan Gurjar.

Diya, who joined politics in 2013, had represented Sawai Madhopur Assembly constituency during the last BJP rule in the state and had refused to contest the state elections in 2018.

The granddaughter of the first woman MP of Rajasthan, Maharani Gayatri Devi, if Diya Kumari manages to win, she will be the second parliamentarian from her family.

Another erstwhile royal to contest from BJP is three-time MP Dushyant Singh, son of the last Maharaja of Dholpur, Maharaj Rana Hemant Singh.

A hotelier by profession, the 46-year-old's mother Vasundhara Raje, the former chief minister of Rajasthan, used to represent the Jhalawar-Baran constituency.

The 25 seats in Rajasthan will go to polls in two phases on April 29 and May 6. In 2014, the BJP swept all 25 Lok Sabha seats but in the 2018 by-polls, it lost two to Congress.