JAIPUR: The surname Maderna wields a lot of clout in the Marwar region of Rajasthan. And it’s the family legacy that Divya Maderna is heavily banking on as she faces the heat and dust of electoral politics. At the same time, the 34-year-old Congress candidate from Osian in Jodhpur is drawing on her energy and dynamism to charge up the voters in the region, where politics is centred around farmers and the Jat community.
Her grandfather Parasram Maderna, was a powerful Jat leader in the region and a nine-time MLA. During his four decade-long political career, he held many positions, including that of a minister, leader of opposition in the Assembly, state Congress chief and Vidhan Sabha Speaker.A postgraduate in economics from the University of Nottingham, UK, Divya is debuting in Assembly polls with the hope that the family name will help her sail through this time. In the next polls, she promises, she will seek votes on the basis of her work done in five years, if she is elected.
Divya’s father Mahipal Maderna, a two-time legislator and minister in Ashok Gehlot cabinet, has been in jail since 2011 in connection with the murder of auxillary nurse-midwife Bhanwari Devi. Her mother had lost in 2013 from the same seat. But the tactician that she is, Divya has convinced the voters, especially Jats, that her family has been a victim of political conspiracy. She tells voters, “My grandfather was elected from here in 1952. Then, all of you supported my father. Today, a daughter has come to your door to seek your support.”
Invoking Jat pride and family sentiments does seem to have struck an emotional chord with the electorate. Huge crowds are seen at her rallies, chanting her name. Divya is confident that the family’s bond with the people of Osian, which goes back three generations, will help her take the legacy forward for a better future for youth and farmers of Rajasthan.
Congress candidate from Osian, Rajasthan
A postgraduate in economics; successfully contested zila parishad elections in Osian