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Ravindra Jadeja’s Wife & Sister Open Their Political Innings

Speculations are rife whether Riva Jadeja and Naina Jadeja will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections this year.

Updated
India
4 min read
Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja joined the BJP while his sister joined the National Women’s Party in February earlier this year.
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A new game is at play in Ravindra Jadeja’s home. The cricketer’s eldest sister Naina and his wife Riva officially entered active politics.

Riva Solanki (28), better known as Rivaba, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday, 3 March, in Jamnagar, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. Meanwhile, Jadeja’s sister Naina (35) – or Nainaba – joined the National Women’s Party in February.

Nainaba has been appointed as the in-charge of NWP’s western zone (Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan) whereas Rivaba heads the Karni Sena Women’s Wing in Gujarat. Speculation are rife whether the two women will contest the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Ravindra Jadeja and his wife Rivaba with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ravindra Jadeja and his wife Rivaba with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter@narendramodi)

PM Modi is My Inspiration: Rivaba

The Jadejas met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year, which triggered speculation across Saurashtra about the cricketer’s affiliation with the saffron party.

“PM Modi is my only inspiration. His personality, his agenda, his capacity to lead the nation inspired me to join the BJP. He told me in Gujarati – ‘good people are needed in politics.’” 
Rivaba Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja’s wife

A day ahead of Modi's visit to Jamnagar, Rivaba joined the BJP in the presence of Gujarat Agriculture Minister RC Faldu and Member of Parliament from Jamnagar Poonam Madam.

“I got a call from Jamnagar BJP President Hasmukh Hindocha. He told me that CM Vijay Rupani had called him and asked whether I’m comfortable to join the party. I immediately called Ravindra; he said that since my agenda and motivation is social work, then I should join. He said, ‘I’m always therefor you.’”
Rivaba Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja’s wife
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Joined Politics To ‘Empower Women’

Rivaba, who is a mechanical engineer, originally hails from Rajkot, and married Ravindra Jadeja in April 2016. The couple was blessed with a baby girl Nidhyana, born on 8 June 2017.

Last year, Rivaba was appointed the head of women’s wing of the Karni Sena in Gujarat. Karni Sena is the outfit that had led violent protests against the release of Bollywood movie ‘Padmaavat’.

“I belong to the Rajput community. When the community’s sentiments are hurt, people will come out to protect their sentiments, their culture and their pride. We Rajputs have a saying ‘Maan, Mariyada and Mobho’ (Respect, dignity, reputation) which cannot be damaged under any circumstance. However, I haven’t seen ‘Padmaavat’ and to speak about it now won’t be right.”
Rivaba Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja’s wife
Rivaba joined the Karni Sena after she was allegedly assaulted on the streets of Jamnagar by a police constable in March last year. After the assault, Rivaba’s mother had reportedly said that Jamnagar was not a safe place for them anymore, although the couple continues to live there. Rivaba has said that she joined the Sena to empower women in various spheres of life.
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From a Paramedic to Politician

The Jadeja family originally hails from Gujarat’s Jamnagar, where Ravindra's father Aniruddhsinh worked as a security guard without fixed income. His mother Lata was a nurse at a government hospital in the town.

Nainaba, the eldest sister, along with her other sister Padminiba and brother Ravindra, lived with her parents in the employees’ quarter allotted to Lata.

Naina Jadeja is a postgraduate in Para Medicine.
Naina Jadeja is a postgraduate in Para Medicine.
(Photo Courtesy: Masuma Bharmal Jariwala)
Nainaba was 22 when her mother passed away. The responsibility of running a home fell on her shoulders. Nainaba – who has a diploma in paramedicine – secured a job in the same hospital where her mother was once an employee. 

She left no stone unturned to ensure that her brother Ravindra fulfilled his dream of becoming a cricketer.

Nainaba later completed her post-graduation in paramedicine and became a restaurateur following the brother’s success in cricket. Soon, the brother-sister duo started 'Jaddu’s Food Field’ – a cricket-themed restaurant – in Rajkot. Additionally, Nainaba also started an event management company called RevelleR.

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In February 2019, she joined National Women’s Party with an aim to help women fight for their rights and get an equal share in politics. On contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Nainaba told The Quint, “I won’t deny, I do want to contest the election. But it is upon the party to decide and I will respect the party's decision.”

“I always wanted to do something for women. I got the first offer from NWP and I accepted it. I am not against any party. But since NWP is solely dedicated to women’s rights and progress, I feel that it can understand and address women’s issues much better.”
Nainaba Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja’s Sister

“Ravindra is balancing both sides. Currently his focus is on Australia series. But I know he is always there for me,” she said.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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