Raja in the Rigveda was not always hereditary, and he needed to have the support of the assemblies of people. Apart from that, he was indeed a king, a single strong leader who is loved by all the people in his kingdom (there is no indication of backstabbing in a kingdom even though there were many disagreements between various kingdoms in Rigveda).
A Rigvedic king is a leader, a representative of the people, for the people. (There are also mentions to people “choosing” their leader formally) The relation between king and people was not that formal and a kind of Emperor-slave relation as that in later ages, rather the people loved the ruler, and saw him as a mighty friend. This is echoed in the descriptions of Indra modelling rulers. People loved to see their ruler in his royal sway, and svaraajya was indeed cherished.
The king’s palace was not much disproportionate to subjects’ houses. In Rigveda, we find a real dearth of such “royal words”. The king apart from his formal status, his efficiency and skill, was just a greater man among the people. You are a king did not mean you conquered the world’s riches and hid it in your pocket - rather, you should be generous and lavishly support your subjects (your friends; your loving people) with the money. And with no envy, the subjects love to see their king lionized and praised.
The kind of more attachment between king and people may be due to the fact that Rigvedic community was highly organized and united in the kingdom, apart from the differences in tribes and clans. And certainly, the people “chose their king” and king should be one who could get support from his people. As such, dictatorship was meaningless and impossible in a place where king’s rights did not become infinitely greater than the subject’s. And the united people who had their sabhas and vidathas could easily speak against the king if needed; though we never find a positive or negative mention in this case - since people took the responsibility of their king whom they loved.