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Who is the ‘royal’ voter PM Modi lauded ahead of Gujarat polls?

The last of the Jamnagar 'Maharajas', and former cricketer, 83-year-old Jam Jaheb Shatrusalyansinh cast his vote at home

Jam Jaheb Shatrusalyansinh of the Jamnagar royal family with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Twitter: Narendra Modi)

Sharing pictures of Jam Jaheb Shatrusalyansinh of the Jamnagar royal family casting his vote for the Gujarat Assembly elections at his home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he hopes the state “witnesses a record turn out” of voters “inspired by him”.

Tagging a tweet by the Press Information Bureau in Gujarat, which on Monday shared pictures of the “Maharaja” voting in the presence of the Deputy Collector and other election officials, Modi said, “I commend Jam Saheb Shri Shatrusalyasinhji for this remarkable passion towards the festival of democracy. Inspired by him, I hope Gujarat witnesses a record turnout, particularly among young and first time voters.”

Who is Shatrusalyansinh?

Shatrusalyansinh, born on March 20, 1939 is the last one from the Jamnagar royal family to hold onto his title.

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A former first class format cricketer, he represented the Saurashtra team in the Ranji trophy. Members of his family, including his father Jam Saheb Sri Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji and uncle Duleepsinhji had also been cricket players.

Previous Modi meetings

This is not the first time the Prime Minister is speaking of the ruler.

In April, Modi had met Shatrusalyansinh in Jamnagar. Sharing pictures after the meeting, the Prime Minister said: “The goodwill of Jam Saheb’s family is spread all over the world, especially in Europe. In Jamnagar, I had the opportunity to meet Jam Saheb Shri Shatrusalyasinhji, who has always been extremely affectionate towards me as an elder. We had a great time recollecting old memories.”

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Replying to the tweet, the Polish ambassador to India, Adam Burakowski said that during the second world war, Digvijaysinh, Shatrusalalyansinh’s father, had hosted “800 Polish children in Balachadi near Jamnagar.”

A 2013 Doordarshan documentary “A little Poland in India” said that many Polish children spent the next few years in Jamnagar, which was then a princely state. The documentary also mentions that Digvijaysinh later established a camp for thee children at Balachadi in Jamnagar, which went on to become the site of a Sainik School.

First published on: 23-11-2022 at 15:30 IST
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