Jaivardhan doesn't want to be recognized as Digvijay Singh's son
In the electoral fray for the second time from his family bastion, royal family scion of Raghogarh -- Jaivardhan Singh -- feels it helps to have a political lineage but his aim is to "prove and establish" himself so that people vote for him as an individual and not because of being son of the former chief minister Digvijay Singh.
The 32-year-old politician, educated at the Columbia University in New York and Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in New Delhi, said he has been doing a rigorous work in his assembly constituency ever since his win in 2013 assembly elections.
Jaivardhan had his first battle at the hustings by a margin of over 58,000 votes.
"Initially, it definitely has a few advantages if you are coming from a background where your father, your uncle all stood from the seat (Raghogarh). There is a lot of work that has been done by them which makes people loyal to you in a way.
"Of course, in the first election in 2013, it was a big advantage for me. But after that, I knew that uphill task begins now because the comparison starts (with his elders who won the seat)," Jaivardhan told PTI during his poll campaign in Goklaya village.
He said rather than feeling good about the fact that his father was the CM of the state for 10 years, he had to work harder as people tend to make comparisons between the work done by his father and by him.
"I am aware that people will always compare but I don't let that worry me because I focus on my work. People here and our family share a very personal relationship that has gone on for generations. I try and make that my base for all the work that I do," he said while tying the 12th 'saafa' (headgear) presented to him by the locals as he visited one village after the other.
It is a tradition here that people present an untied 'saafa' cloth to the members of the royal family or to those whom they respect when they come at their door, an aide of the Doon School educated MLA explained.
Jaivardhan said his father campaigned for him when he first got the ticket in 2013 and then he publicly declared that henceforth he should get elected on his own merit.
"People should vote for Jaivardhan Singh and not for Digvijay Singh's son. He helped me make the one-to-one link with the voters. I am thankful to him for giving that space to me," he said.
Asked whether he sees himself as the state's chief minister one day, Jaivardhan, "I think that's too big an aim to have at the moment...I am more content in the position that I hold currently."
"I want to prove myself. I must prove myself by winning multiple elections. I must prove myself by building my constituency which can be showcased. I must be able to build a name of my own. I can be taken as someone whose name is held across the state," he said.
The Congress leader said his main work, for now, was to work for the party and make sure that the party is strong at the grassroots level.
His constituency has remained with the royal family and the Congress since 1977.
The young politician said he very well understands the importance of these elections and therefore, apart from ensuring his own victory, he wants that the Congress comes back to power in the state.
"The first challenge for us is to bring the party back into power. We have seen 15 years of the BJP rule here and the way we see it is that the state currently needs a change. What I am seeing on the ground this time is that compared to five years ago, there is a big wave in favour of the Congress and in favour of the change," he said.
From this seat, the BJP has given the ticket to 49-year-old Bhupendra Singh Raghuvanshi, a local who had lost by a slender margin of 6,300 votes against Congress' Mool Singh in 2008.
Voting for all 230 assembly seats of the state will take place on November 28 and the counting is scheduled for December 11.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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