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Royals fight it out in Madhya Pradesh

November 28, 2003 17:04 IST

Kings may have lost their right to rule but scions of several erstwhile royal families are fighting it out in Madhya Pradesh.

The state, known as the land of Scindias, Holkars and a host of small principalities has perhaps the largest contingent of former rulers in the poll fray.

This despite the carving out of Chhattisgarh, which took away a number of maharajas and rajas, including Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Singh Judeo.

The former rulers not only belong to the Congress and BJP, the two principal contenders for power in the state, but also to parties like the Samajwadi Party and are even contesting as independents.

Prominent among the members of former ruling houses this time is Yashodhara Raje Scindia of the Gwalior family who is contesting for the second time from Shivpuri constituency as a BJP candidate.

Chief Minister Digvijay Singh is himself a raja of the erstwhile Raghogarh principality so also state's tourism minister Ajay Singh, son of Congress veteran Arjun Singh of the ruling family of Churhat.

The chief minister's relative and public relations minister Manavendra Singh is in the race from Bijawar constituency as a Congress candidate, while his party colleague and member of the Rewa ruling house Pushpraj Singh is in the fray from his traditional Rewa seat.

In Chhartarpur, erstwhile royal family member Shankar Pratap Singh, popularly known as Munna Raja, is crossing swords with his nephew Vikram Singh alias Nati Raja.

While the uncle is a Congress candidate, Samajwadi Party has fielded his nephew.

Another prominent royal family member nominated by Samajwadi Party is Ashok Veer Vikram Singh, referred to as Bhaiyya Raja in his home turf Pawai, which is incidentally a sensitive constituency.

Former state Congress chief Urmila Singh, who is a minister in Digvijay Singh government, is again trying her luck from Ghansaur (ST) constituency.   

Rajyavardhan Singh, son of former Goa governor Bhanu Prakash Singh of the Narsinghgarh family, is contesting as an independent following denial of Congress ticket.   

Tukojirao Pawar of Dewas royal family who is a sitting BJP member from his home turf is again in the fray to retain his seat, while another ex-royal Kunwar Vijay Shah is seeking re-election as BJP nominee from Harsud (ST) seat.

Rajyavardhan Singh of the Dattigaon royal family is the Congress nominee from Badnawar, while Karan Singh Pawar of Congress is in the fray from adjoining Dhar constituency.

Former minister Yadvendra Singh, another ex-ruling family member, is trying his luck as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Tikamgarh after refusal of Congress nomination.

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