Royal scion Yaduveer Wadiyar’s candidature puts Congress on the backfoot

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Royal scion Yaduveer Wadiyar’s candidature puts Congress on the backfoot

Bengaluru: With Yaduveer Wadiyar, the royal scion, contesting as the BJP candidate for the Mysuru-Kodagu seat in Karnataka, the Congress has already adopted defensive tactics.

One of the main reasons for this defensive tactic is the goodwill the Mysuru royal family enjoys. The rule of the Wadiyars in the Mysuru kingdom is referred to as the golden period in the history of Karnataka. The Wadiyar family is still revered in Mysuru and the surrounding regions.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, known for his poignant and offensive attacks on BJP leaders, has not uttered a word against the royal scion Yaduveer Wadiyar. Sources said that strict instructions have been passed on to Congress leaders not to issue any comments against Yaduveer.

Sources said that the Congress has warned the leaders that if the royal scion Yaduveer is targeted, it will adversely affect the prospects of the Congress candidate M. Laxman.

The Mysuru royal family carries the goodwill of the people for the plethora of people-friendly steps initiated by the Maharaja of Mysuru. On August 23, 1918, the princely state of Mysuru, headed by Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, scripted history by forming a committee to explore the possibilities of reservation for all community members in government services.

The move is regarded as the first-ever attempt by undivided India to provide reservation on the basis of caste in the government service. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar braved the resistance to implement the reservation policy. This drastic step created a people’s movement in the entire south Karnataka region and the people are still indebted to the Mysuru Maharaja.

Under the patronage of the Mysuru Maharajas, the first hydroelectric station in India was constructed at Sivanasamudra in Mysuru in 1902. Mysuru city received the power supply for the first time on September 26, 1908. It was one of the few cities in India that was electrified. Besides, the story of the Mysuru royal family pledging gold, diamonds, and valuables to get the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam is still remembered with great reverence by the people.

The Mysuru Maharajas were at the forefront of merging with India after the British. The Mysuru Maharajas also gifted a private aircraft carrier to then Union Minister of Home Sardar Patel to facilitate his movement across the country during the critical juncture of the unification of India.

Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was the first ruler to merge his kingdom with the newly formed Indian Union. He served as the Governor of Mysuru until 1964 and as Governor of Madras from 1964 to 1966. Later, Mysuru Maharaja Srikanthadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar won from the Mysuru Lok Sabha Constituency four times on the Congress ticket. However, he lost the parliamentary election when he contested on the BJP.

Maharaja Srikanthadatta contested parliamentary elections in 1984, 1989, 1996, and 1999 on the Congress ticket. However, in 1991, the Congress denied him a ticket. He contested for the Mysuru seat on the BJP ticket and was defeated by Congress contestant Chandraprabha Urs.

However, the Congress issued him a ticket to him again in 1996. In 2004, Maharaja Srikathadatta again contested on the Congress ticket but lost the election to BJP candidate C.H. Vijayashankar.

After being relegated to the third place, Srikathadatta distanced himself from politics. After two decades, Mysuru’s Yaduveer Wadiyar has made his entry into electoral politics. Maharaja Yaduveer Wadiyar has already broken the myth that royalties won’t mingle with people and they can’t come onto the streets. He has said that he is going to be with the people and work with them.

Maharaja Yaduveer Wadiyar is the grandson of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. He was adopted by Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, wife of the late Srikanthadatta Wadiyar. Yaduveer Wadiyar was installed as the Maharaja of Mysuru in 2015.

Maharaja Yaduveer had obtained a degree from the University of Massachusetts. He is married to Trishika Kumari Devi of the erstwhile Dungarpur royal family from Rajasthan.

With the BJP handpicking Maharaja Yaduveer Wadiyar for the Mysuru-Kodagu Seat, expectations are running high.

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