Rajasthan, Raje, Raj Mahal and Royals seemed inseparable a week ago but mirage proved short lived. Vasundhara Raje, second term Chief Minister of Rajasthan, in her trademark style had hit erstwhile Jaipur family, where it hurts the most – Raj Mahal Palace. UDH Minister Rajpal Singh Shekhawat clarified that JDA acted rightfully on the land acquired by due process and gate of Raj Mahal Palace will remained sealed as it fell in JDA land.
Sources say all was well before Jaipur royals tried to challenge the aesthetic sense of Vasundhara Raje by proposing a multistory residential building adjacent to Raj Mahal Palace. It is said that quick buck were being offered by a Nepal based real estate player surnamed ‘Chaudhary’ which felt lucrative but proved to be a fatal bait for Jaipur royals.
Jaipur family had filed an application with municipal corporation after which Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) got active to take possession of 12 bigha of land at Raj Mahal Palace in wee hours of August 24, while Queen of Dholpur, a redundant title she had wrested in her divorce settlement from a humble gentleman called Hemant Singh, Raje was sleeping cozily in her parental property Sindhia Villa in Delhi. JDA was sitting on the so-called acquisition process for last forty years. But JDA officials acted in such haste that they even ransacked office of representative of Receiver appointed by Supreme Court on disputed properties of erstwhile Jaipur royal family.
Chronology of the events, according to sources, indicates that Rajmata Padmini Devi and Vasundhara Raje had dinner at Raj Mahal Palace 48 hour before the JDA action. The last phone call was exchanged just 12 hour before action began. So question that was being asked is that whether rumors of an argument over glasses of ‘sherry’ was a figment of imaginations of brokers of power corridors or happened to be true. Answer came with a public statement issued by Maharani Padmini Devi herself.
“As you are all aware, the former royal family of Jaipur has never taken in its possession anything owned by the Government or the JDA. We have full confidence in the courts of law and we are sure justice will prevail.” She said in her statement. Now, one thing is crystal clear is rift between friends – Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur and Vasundhara Raje, Queen of Dholpur – if that title has any meaning at all. Those close to development were not easily ready to believe that those wine glasses shared on long afternoons at Mumbai pubs have gone sour. But stench of fermentation of relation between two leading women in Rajasthan is now obvious.
Connoisseurs of history saw it has classic Jaipur-Maratha showdown. But one believe in the adage that ‘history repeats itself’, Jaipur has always managed to bribe its way out of Maratha iron fist except for one occasion when all the royalties of Rajasthan got united and fought decisive ‘War of Tunga’. Though Maratha were not altogether defeated but Tunga war proved ‘Normandy’ for Marathas.
However, Delhi power circles saw this development in Rajasthan very keenly. Rajnath Singh, in his quest to become pan-north Rajput leader, has been seeing Vasundhara Raje as her main opponent for quite a while. Nearer home, Rajendra Rathore has been a quite spectator while Raje is tried to use other donkeys in the bullock cart along with him. With support of Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah -at few occasions, Raje has survived as helm of BJP government, even though RSS is unhappy with her for issues ranging from rampant corruption, temple destruction in Jaipur city and cow protection.
With such open defiance of ideology of RSS and BJP which promoted piousness in public life, Raje has survived against all odds. Even her survival at helm has led many people believe that RSS and top BJP leadership is hand in glove with all her for deeds and misdeeds in Rajasthan. However, question was being asked now is that, ‘how much is too much’?
Those who gathered for march today were not fully in support of cause of Jaipur family but one thing they all agreed upon was that ‘Vasundhara Raje’s government they do not consider their own.’ And signs are ominous, if at all one wants to introspect.