Rich and royal: Wives of Nakul Nath, Scindia sweat it out in campaign for their poll victory

The wives have been meeting vendors, singing bhajans, engaging in activities appealing to the common people, with one of them also entering a farm to harvest crops, as their husbands look for a win in the electoral arena.
Congress MP Nakul Nath's wife works in a wheat farm in Madhya Pradesh.
Congress MP Nakul Nath's wife works in a wheat farm in Madhya Pradesh.Photo | X screen grab

BHOPAL: It's a tale of two spouses, one royal and the other wife of one of the richest candidates, who have got into the heat and dust of electioneering in Madhya Pradesh in a bid to ensure their husbands, belonging to rival parties, win the Lok Sabha polls.

Priyadarshini Raje Scindia, wife of Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who hails from a royal clan, and Priya Nath, wife of Congress leader Nakul Nath, who is one of the richest candidates, have been beating the extremely hot weather and reaching out to people to campaign for their spouses.

They have been seen meeting vendors, singing bhajans, engaging in activities appealing to the common people, with one of them also entering a farm to harvest crops, as their husbands look for a win in the electoral arena.

Chhindwara's sitting MP Nakul Nath declared Rs 697 crore assets in the poll affidavit this time, and had topped the list of 475 Lok Sabha crorepati members in 2019.

His wife was recently seen cutting crops at an agricultural field in Chourai under her husband's parliamentary seat.

Congress MP Nakul Nath's wife works in a wheat farm in Madhya Pradesh.
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During campaigning, she reached Navegaon under Junnardeo assembly seat of Chhindwara parliamentary constituency and danced along with village women to the tune of devotional songs at a Bhagvat Katha Pandal.

Priyadarshini Raje Scindia, who hails from the Gaekwad royal family of Vadodara, has been hitting the streets of Guna constituency, from where her husband Jyotiraditya Scindia is contesting the Lok Sabha poll, meeting voters at market places and telling the people how much the Gwalior "Maharaj" (as the BJP leader is popularly called) cares for them.

Addressing a programme last week, Raje told a gathering that she has been watching Maharaj for the past 20 years and seen how much affection he has for the people of Guna-Shivpuri-Ashoknagar area (the three districts which are part of Guna parliamentary seat).

During the COVID-19 crisis, he was worried everyday that there should be no shortage of oxygen cylinders, tankers, medicines in hospitals as well as food, water and other essential requirements for the people of Guna Lok Sabha constituency, she said.

In Chhindwara, Priya Nath has been trying to keep up the morale of her husband's supporters and hitting out at her father-in-law Kamal Nath's close associates who joined the BJP recently.

"Never give up. Wherever I go, my sisters tell me that didi, never be nervous, we are with you. I ask, is there any nervousness visible on my face? I am not nervous but I definitely feel sad for papa Kamal Nath ji, whom they (turncoats) betrayed when the time came for his agnipareeksha," she told a gathering last week.

"We definitely feel sad because we had accepted them wholeheartedly as our family," she added.

Exuding confidence, Priya Nath also said the people of Chhindwara and Nath family have been together for 44 years and no power can break this relation in 44 days (ahead of the polls).

Sravani Sarkar, a senior journalist from Bhopal, told PTI that the electoral politics scenario has undergone significant changes in the past decade.

"The common voters are much more aware of issues and are clear about their choices. They also seem to have realised that lawmakers should truly be representatives of the commoners," she said.

The electoral battle for both Nakul Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia seems tough this time, she said. Scindia is moving ahead carefully as he faced defeat last time from Guna.

Chhindwara has been the BJP's target in the last 4-5 years as it was the only seat which the saffron party failed to win in 2019, Sarkar said.

Congress veteran Kamal Nath was elected from Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat for nine times and his son Nakul Nath was the lone winner for the grand old party from MP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The Nath family won all the elections from Chhindwara after 1980, except once in 1997 when Kamal Nath was defeated by former BJP chief minister Sundarlal Patwa.

The Congress has this time renominated Nakul Nath.

The Guna Lok Sabha seat has been won by Scindia family members 14 times, but the family faced a defeat in 2019 when Jyotiraditya Scindia lost the poll.

His father Madhavrao Scindia was elected from the seat four times while his grandmother Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia won the constituency six times between 1957 and 1998.

Jyotiraditya Scindia also got elected from Guna four times between 2002 and 2014. In 2019, he contested as a Congress candidate. This time he is in the fray on BJP's ticket. Chhindwara will go to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 19 and Guna in the third phase on May 7.

Congress MP Nakul Nath's wife works in a wheat farm in Madhya Pradesh.
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Congress MP Nakul Nath's wife works in a wheat farm in Madhya Pradesh.
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