Modi’s maharani fights key state election

India News
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Modi’s maharani fights key state election

JODHPUR, India: An Indian princess allied to Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced a tough battle for re-election on Friday as the hard-fought desert state of Rajasthan went to the polls.

Defeat for Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan’s chief minister, in the western state of 47 million people would be a blow for Modi’s image as a surefire vote-winner ahead of general elections in 2019.

That the charismatic but fiery Raje is a maharani, or princess, is nothing unusual in Rajasthan, a state famous for its forts and grand palaces with peacock-filled lawns.

It is one of India’s few regions where the local royal families going back centuries — and outlasting British rule — have flourished in democratic politics since independence in 1947.

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