LS polls: Opposition candidates from erstwhile royal families bite the dust

New Delhi: As the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party swept the parliamentary election, opposition candidates from erstwhile royal families failed to hold their fort. Of the 12 candidates from royal families, all four fighting on BJP ticket won the electoral battle with margins ranging from less than 20,000 to over 5.5 lakhs.

BJP’s royal candidate from the erstwhile Jaipur family, Diya Kumari, who was fighting from the Rajsamand Lok Sabha constituency for the first time, won against her nearest rival Devkinandan of the Congress by a margin of over 5.5 lakh votes. Another bigwig, Dushyant Singh, son of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and the scion of the Dholpur royal family, retained his Jhalawar-Baran seat by defeating Congress’s Pramod Sharma with a margin of more than 4.5 lakh votes.

While it was a royal day for the BJP candidates, Congress’s Bhanwar Jitendra Singh of the erstwhile Alwar royal family lost the contest with a margin of more than 3.2 lakh votes to BJP’s Balak Nath in the Alwar constituency. A member of the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was fighting from the Congress stronghold of Guna in Madhya Pradesh, could not retain it against the BJP’s onslaught that took 28 out of 29 seats in the state.

The four-time Congress MP lost the seat to BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh by a margin of over 1.25 lakh votes. In Uttar Pradesh, three candidates from erstwhile royal families contested from Pratapgarh, Kushi Nagar and Gonda.

BJP’s Kirti Vardhan Singh, also known as Raja Bhaiya, of the erstwhile Mankapur royal family, retained the seat by over 1.6 lakh votes against his Samajwadi Party rival Vinod Kumar in Gonda constituency. The Congress’s Pratapgarh candidate, Rajkumari Ratna Singh of the erstwhile Kalakankar royal family, too lost.

She was left at the third position with a little over 77,000 votes and lost deposit, while the winning candidate, the BJP’s Sangam Lal Gupta, took the seat with a margin of over 4.36 lakh votes. Another royal candidate fighting for the Congress party, Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh of the Padrauna family, remained at the third position with 1,46,151 votes and lost deposit, while BJP’s Vijay Kumar Dubey won the Kushinagar seat with a winning margin of over 3.37 lakh votes.

The eastern state of Odisha witnessed a close contest that went on till late in the night between two of the erstwhile Patna royal family. BJP’s Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo won the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat with 19,516 votes and dethroned her brother-in-law and Biju Janata Dal’s sitting MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo.

In Kalahandi, BJD’s Puspendra Singh Deo of Dharmagarh royal family lost by over 26,000 votes against the BJP’s Basanta Kumar Panda. In another let-down for the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, the grandson of erstwhile Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Vikramaditya Singh, lost the contest to BJP’s sitting MP Jitendra Singh with a margin of over 3.5 lakh votes in Udhampur constituency.

Pravasi Nivasi Party candidate Pandalam Keralavaramraja of the Pandalam royal family secured only 1,695 votes in Thiruvananthapuram, where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor retained his seat with a winning margin of 99,989 votes.