Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati Chhatrapati – the 13th direct descendent of great Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and great-grandson of Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, on Thursday announced that he will contest the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections independently.
Sambhajiraje, who is affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party and has just completed his term as a President-nominated RS Member (June 2016-May 2022), also announced the launch of group ‘Swarajya’.
“This organisation will bring together under one roof all the people who love and admire Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj,” said Sambhajiraje.
Hailing from the Kolhapur royalty, Sambhajiraje is the Chairperson of the Raigad Development Authority which is working to conserve and restore the imposing Raigad Fort and its surroundings.
Interacting with media persons here, he said he would contest the forthcoming RS elections as an Independent candidate, and undertake a state-wide tour for the cause of reservations for the Maratha community.
In February, Sambhajiraje had gone on a hunger-strike at Azad Maidan in Mumbai for the Maratha quota cause and ended it only after 3-days following assurance by the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi to do what was necessary in a time-bound manner.
The Chhatrapati scion added that 6 RS seats from the state will fall vacant in July and now he will contest as an Independent.
“As per the previous arrangements, the BJP had 3, and the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress had 1 each. As per the current arithmetic in the Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP can win only 2 seats, so I will contest the third seat on my own, as neither side can bag it on their own. I shall meet all parties and seek their support,” Sambhajiraje said.
Justifying his plans to go solo, he said he has been working for the people of the state since 2007, and so he must be considered on the basis of his contributions.
“I am not joining any political party and from today, I have no affiliations with any party,” Sambhajiraje said, while thanking President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others for his just-ended RS term.