Parties try to woo Wodeyar widow to fight LS polls

Ramesh Babu, however, claimed the Congress meeting with Devi last month was to dissuade her from contesting on a JD(S) ticket.

Bangalore | Published:February 5, 2014 4:56 am

Pramoda Devi, widow of the scion of the erstwhile Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Wodeyar who died recently, has become the most sought-after candidate in Karnataka for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with the JD(S), Congress and the BJP all trying to field her in Mysore to cash in on the sympathy in the region for her late husband.

Devi has been, over the last two months since the death of Wodeyar at the age of 60, approached by the likes of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The BJP is using royal connections of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to woo the grieving widow who has shown no inclination to join politics so far.

First off the blocks, soon after the death of Wodeyar on December 10 last year, in wooing Devi to take the political plunge was former CM Kumaraswamy who hinted that the JD(S) had earlier offered the Mysore seat to “the prince”.

“We had first proposed Wodeyar for the Mysore seat since we were sure the Congress will not change its sitting MP and the BJP had in the past opposed his candidature. Following his death, we offered the seat to his wife but madam was still in a state of shock and she remains undecided,’’ party spokesperson Ramesh Babu said.

“There is a lot of goodwill for the royal family in the Mysore region and they have their own value which is why we had proposed Wodeyar but unfortunately, he died. We feel there is sympathy for him still at work in the region. Other political parties are now trying to capitalise on this,’’ he said.
The Congress is also believed to have made an attempt to woo Devi. While party vice-president Rahul Gandhi met her at Bangalore Palace on January 12 on the sidelines of an interaction with youths, the sitting Congress MP from Mysore H Vishwanath made a public offer to give up his seat for the widow.
Congress sources, however, denied that the meeting between Rahul and the princess had anything to do with seeking her candidature for Lok Sabha polls.
“Rahul ji called on the widow of the scion of the Mysore royal family to offer condolences. They did not discuss politics. Wodeyar was after all a two-time Congress MP,’’ a senior party leader who was present at the palace on January 12 said.

Ramesh Babu, however, claimed the Congress meeting with Devi last month was to dissuade her from contesting on a JD(S) ticket.   Even as the widow rejected the JD(S) and Congress overtures, stating publicly that she was not keen on contesting elections, reports have emerged that the BJP, which is organisationally weak in the Mysore region, is trying to convince her to fight on its ticket. Sources in the party confirmed the effort.

“An effort is being made to convince the princess to contest the elections. Different channels are at work. One of the channels is Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje who also belongs to a royal family,’’ said a BJP official.  The Congress has over the years been the most successful party in the Mysore constituency, although Srikantadatta Wodeyar lost the seat on one occasion contesting on its ticket. He also lost once as a BJP candidate.

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  1. A
    Ankit raj
    Feb 5, 2014 at 11:39 am
    So far Pramoda Devi is concerned, she has no political ideology of her own as his late husband Wodeyar had. Perhaps, she will choose the party, which convince her most.
    Reply
    1. A
      Ankit raj
      Feb 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm
      Yahi to India hai, jahan kuch na kuch esa hota rehta hai e hume pta lag hi jata hai ki ye democry hai.
      Reply
      1. A
        Ankit raj
        Feb 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm
        widow of the scion of the erstwhile Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Wodeyar, shows that whatever may be ideology of these parties
        Reply
        1. V
          vipin gurjar
          Feb 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm
          This is real dance of Democracy in our country.
          Reply
          1. V
            vipin gurjar
            Feb 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm
            pramoda devi will choose the party, which convince her most.
            Reply
            1. L
              laxmi
              Feb 5, 2014 at 7:12 am
              This is real dance of Democracy in our country. The way all major political parties wooing Pramoda Devi,widow of the scion of the erstwhile Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Wodeyar,shows that whatever may be ideology of these parties, they want to cash on pority of Royal families. So far Pramoda Devi is concerned, she has no political ideology of her own as his late husband Wodeyar had. Perhaps, she will choose the party, which convinces her most.
              Reply
              1. V
                Vijay Ranade
                Feb 6, 2014 at 12:48 am
                This is Royal Battle and BJP is known to be faithful to royal families. It will be interesting to watch the show.
                Reply
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