JAIPUR: BJP candidate from Rajsamand Diya Kumari of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family is trying to mend fences with former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje after rumours that their differences and Raje's objection delayed the announcement of her name for the Lok Sabha elections.
"These are only rumours. There is no fact to it. I have said this a number of times that it was Vasundhara Rajeji who brought me into politics. She will always remain a leader and mentor to me," Kumari said.
She explained, "Parties announce candidates after studying various aspects, including their winnability. Therefore some names are announced early, while with some they take time. This is a part of the process."
Interestingly, before her name was announced, there were reports of locals protesting Kumari's candidature from Rajsamand calling her an "outsider". The former Mewar royalty too was reportedly unhappy with the decision.
Rajsamand falls in the erstwhile Mewar kingdom, known for its strained relations with the Jaipur royalty following the historic animosity between the 13th king of Mewar Maharana Pratap and Emperor Akbar. In the battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap was defeated by Emperor Akbar's forces led by Sawai Man Singh, a Jaipur royal.
Kumari rubbished the reports saying, "I think this is an example of fake news. In fact, I began my campaign in the constituency by first seeking and receiving the blessings and wishes of the royal family of Mewar, who are, in fact, my relatives. This comes as news to me."
Kumari forayed into politics in 2014 and won the Assembly elections from Sawai Madhopur. "My last five years as an MLA were challenging but absolutely satisfying as I was able to achieve so much for the people there," she said.
She attributed her journey from a princess to a politician to her desire to work for the people. "My desire to contribute something more to the society brought me to politics five years back. It is something my family has always done, but I wanted to go the extra mile and felt that by becoming an elected representative of the people, I could truly make a difference," she said.
The BJP candidate said that her priorities in a parliamentary constituency will be more or less the same. "Both the Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha are important. Nevertheless, when you are representing a constituency in Parliament, the responsibility is much bigger and so are the expectations," she said.
Kumari said the Rajsamand Lok Sabha seat includes eight Vidhan Sabha constituencies, and as an MP, one represents the needs of all the people from the constituency, which is distant not only from Delhi but also the state capital Jaipur. This requires a lot of attention to ensure the voice of the people is heard at every level.
On her priority list are developing tourism infrastructure by completing the pending work of the Krishna Tourism Circuit, bringing in broad-gauge railway connectivity, providing better road connectivity, attracting domestic and international private sector investment and increasing job opportunities through institutes of higher education, skill development centres and army recruitment camps.
Rajsamand will vote on April 29. The Congress has fielded Devkinandan Gurjar from the seat.