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'Scindia is welcome if he upholds Hindutva nationalism'

By ARCHANA MASIH
March 11, 2020 13:54 IST
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'He too can become a good BJP worker like Rajmata and those from his family before him.''

IMAGE: Jyotiraditya Scindia, who resigned his membership of the Congress party on his father Madhavrao Scindia's 75th birth anniversary, March 10, 2020.
 

Former Bajrang Dal president, Bharatiya Janata Party MP and MLA Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya has been the principal opponent of the Congress branch of the Scindia family for over 20 years in Madhya Pradesh.

Pawaiya fought his first election against Madhavrao Scindia in 1998.

He lost, but reduced Madhavrao's victory margin drastically to a mere 26,000 votes, forcing the elder Scindia to move to Guna in the next Lok Sabha election.

In 2014, Pawaiya contested against Jyotiradiyta Scindia in Guna and was defeated by 1.27 lakh votes.

A minister in then chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's cabinet, Pawaiya lost the assembly election in December 2018 to the Congress.

Bajrang Dal president when the Babri Masjid was demolished, Pawaiya was imprisoned for 13 days in 1992 after the mosque was destroyed and is an accused in the case.

A bitter enemy of the Scindia Congressmen, he tells Rediff.com's Archana Masih that he would welcome Jyotiraditya if he embraces the BJP's Hindutva nationalism and bears no personal grudge towards him.

You have seen the politics of both Madhavrao and Jyotiraditya Scindia for over two decades and have been their political rival, what are your thoughts on the latter joining the BJP?

The entry of Jyotiraditya Scindia into the BJP certainly signifies that he must have undergone a change of heart and of ideology.

When a politician leaves a party, he also relinquishes that ideology. Jyotiraditya's coming into the BJP means that he has left the Congress ideology behind him.

When a politician joins the BJP, he also embraces the party's ideology.

If Jyotiraditya Scindia is joining the BJP and is going to uphold the values of Hindutva, I welcome him wholeheartedly.

As someone wedded to the Hindutva ideology, I feel if a new party worker is joining the BJP, it is a good thing for the party and should be appreciated.

His detractors say he is joining the BJP not because of ideology, but because he has been marginalised in the Congress party.

Like I said before, if he is coming to the BJP for Hindutva nationalism, then I welcome him.

It is true that I have been a political opponent and fought elections against them in the past, but it was a fight against a candidate from an opposing party.

I have nothing personal against the individuals.

I have raised issues pertaining to my political thinking.

One must also remember that the Congress is a party of netas while the BJP is a party of workers.

There are other members of the Scindia family from Rajmata's time that have been a part of the BJP and became a part of the fibre of the party.

Now that Jyotiradityaji is coming to the party, he too must be coming with the same mindset -- that he is joining a party of workers.

What kind of place will Jyotiraditya find or make for himself in the BJP because he is coming from a party that is completely opposed to the BJP tone, tenor and politics?

The BJP is a vast ocean of party workers.

He too will be a party worker like the others who are part of the BJP. This will be no issue.

Do you see him playing a greater role at the Centre or in the state?

That decision will be taken by the party high command.

You have seen his politics since he started out. How do you think the BJP will make use of his talent and how is he likely to fare in the party?

The BJP is not an individual-centric party, he too will work like a committed party worker.

I don't think beyond that realm. The party will decide what his role will be.

Won't this lead to some upheaval in the state BJP? That a big leader is coming to the party and may upset the apple cart.

The history of the Scindias in the BJP shows that they have merged themselves into the party's ideology. He too can become a good BJP party worker like Rajmata and those from his family before him.

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ARCHANA MASIH / Rediff.com
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