‘Queens’ dust-up polls royally in Odisha elections 2019

Bhubaneswar: Even as the poll fervour is gaining momentum, all eyes are riveted on the ‘queens’ from erstwhile royal families who are now in fray as candidates in Odisha. Though princely states are bygones now, royal families are still held in awe among masses and political parties alike. And royal descendants simply cash in on the sentiments to script a ‘royal’ footprint in politics, which is not limited to Odisha alone.

A three time MP, Sangeeta Singh Deo, wife of KV Singh Deo, is again in a ‘battle royal’ in the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat. Sangeeta has been fielded as candidate by BJP for the coveted parliamentary constituency.

“People still have regards for the royal family but I have been a candidate as a mere worker of BJP,” said Sangeeta.

Nandini Devi, wife of late Dharakote king Kishore Chandra Singh Deo, too wants to serve people through politics. After the death of her husband, Nandini had forayed into politics on public request and was elected as MLA from Sanakhemundi on BJD ticket.

This time too, Nandini has been made a candidate by BJD and is looking forward for the opportunity to be with the people of her constituency.

“When I entered politics, people supported me. A lot of work has been done and will work to complete the pending works,” said Nandini.

Nilagiri queen Manoja Manjari Devi has also chosen politics her path to work for women empowerment. She is fighting the polls on a Congress ticket from Nilagiri.

“Be it health, education or other issues, my effort will be to ensure restoring the lost glory for women in the constituency,” said Manoja Manjari Devi.

Female monarch of Chikiti, Usha Devi, who has been elected to Odisha Assembly on BJD ticket for five times, is also trying her luck this time too. However, illness has kept Usha Devi away from the active campaigning so far.

It will be testing time for Parala princess Kalyani Gajapati, who made an electoral debut this elections. She is now reaching out to voters daily ahead of the crucial polls.

It is believed that political parties turn to members of the royal families owing to their influence on masses, and want to cash in on the craze they have among the voters.