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This article was first published 8 years ago  » News » Where is 'mama's boy' Dushyant Singh?

Where is 'mama's boy' Dushyant Singh?

By Archis Mohan
July 03, 2015 11:11 IST
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Even as Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje faces the worst crises in her political career, Dushyant Singh is vacationing with his wife and children at an undisclosed location abroad 

Those who have known Dushyant Singh, the scion of the erstwhile princely state of Dholpur, often talk about the chhaya or an invisible protective shield his mother, feisty Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, has provided her only child with.

Also read: Has Vasundhara Raje overcome the political storm?

Singh is often called a ‘mama's boy’, something that the polite and reticent 42-year-old, who is father to two children, does not find offensive. This strong bond between the two makes his absence from his mother's side in public at a time when she is faced with one of the worst crises in her political career so much more intriguing.

According to Rajasthan Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, Singh, a three-time Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Jhalawar-Baran, is vacationing with his wife and children at an undisclosed location abroad and will return at an appropriate time.

For over three weeks, his mother has braved attacks from political parties and incessant coverage in the media because of her as well as her son's links with former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi. All that Singh has done is issue a brief statement that denied any income tax related irregularities in his company, Niyant Heritage Hotels.

Few in Rajasthan, let alone within the BJP but even the Congress, have questioned his absence. People who have known Singh say the man doesn't fit the stereotype of a brash and obstinate prince.

He is courteous and an introvert who opens up only to a trusted few, among whom are Congress MP and cousin Jyotiraditya Scindia and a bunch of second-generation Congress leaders. Singh, as is evident from his speeches, isn't particularly articulate. He often finds more encouragement from the younger of the Congress MPs than his own party when participating in debates in Parliament. According to PRS Legislative Research, Singh participated in only nine debates against the average of nearly 18 over the past year.

His friends attribute his introvert nature to growing up under the chhaya of his mother. Raje, daughter of Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia and Jivaji Rao Scindia, married Dholpur principality's Hemant Singh in 1971. Singh was born in 1973. Soon after that the couple became estranged.

By 1978, Raje, who was raising Singh, got into a protracted legal battle with her husband over their son's right to the property of the Dholpur principality. The case was eventually settled in 2007 with Hemant getting the family properties in Delhi, while Dholpur Palace, whose ownership is under question now, and several other properties in Rajasthan went to Singh.

Singh graduated from St Stephen's College in 1993 and studied hotel management in the United States and Switzerland. In 2004, he won the Lok Sabha elections from Jhalawar-Baran, a constituency that his mother had represented in five elections since 1989 and quit as an MP after being elected the Rajasthan CM in 2003. That and subsequent electoral victories are largely credited to Raje's 'shadow', although Singh claims to have done some work in the region too.

In 2001, Singh married Niharika Judeo, princess of the erstwhile Gujjar principality of Samthar in Uttar Pradesh. The importance of this alliance, given the significant Gujjar population in Rajasthan, became apparent in 2007 when Judeo accompanied her mother-in-law in negotiations with Gujjar leaders during the Gujjar agitation. Raje later publicly thanked her daughter-in-law for being with her.

It is likely that Singh might not attend the Monsoon session of Parliament if the controversy over his business links with Lalit Modi persists.

Image: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with her son Dushyant Singh. Photograph: PTI

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Archis Mohan
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