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52 yrs on, another Scindia's exit puts govt in crisis

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
March 11, 2020 20:24 IST
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Fifty-two years after 'Rajmata' Vijaya Raje Scindia, a prominent member of the erstwhile Gwalior royal dynasty, quit the Congress and caused the party-led government in Madhya Pradesh to collapse, history appears to be repeating itself.

IMAGE: Members of Indian Youth Congress wear mask of former party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and sits inside the cage during a demonstration in New Delhi . Photograph: ANI Photo

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the grandson of the late Vijaya Raje Scindia, quit the Congress on Tuesday along with 22 MLAs, putting the 14-month-old Kamal Nath-led government in deep crisis.

"His grandmother Vijaya Raje, once a close confidant of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the great grandfather of Rahul Gandhi, had started her political innings in 1957 from the Congress. However, she left the party in 1967.


"She toppled the D P Mishra-led Congress government in the state in July 1967," an acquaintance of the Scindia family said.

"Now, her grandson Jyotiraditya has made a similar move, pushing the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh to the brink," he said.

After quitting the Congress, Vijaya Raje Scindia had won the Guna Lok Sabha seat in 1967 on the Swatantra Party's ticket. She soon joined the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (the precursor of Bharatiya Janata Party) and resigned from the Lok Sabha to take part in Madhya Pradesh politics, he added.

Another leader close to the Scindias said, the trouble between Vijaya Raje Scindia and the then chief minister D P Mishra started when she went to him with a list of candidates, whom she wanted to be nominated as Congress candidates for the Lok Sabha and MP assembly polls which were to be held simultaneously.

However, Mishra made her wait for two hours, which left Rajmata fuming, he said.

"She made 36 MLAs, who were holed up at Usha Kiran Hotel in Gwalior, defect from the Congress. She propped up Govind Narayan Singh, who later became MP chief minister. However, his government lasted for just 18 months," he said.

The muscle and money power that was part of the political drama played out in July 1967 is similar to what is happening now, he said.

"The same drama is being played out in Madhya Pradesh after 52 years. Jyotiraditya Scindia has taken the centre stage in the political drama unfolding in MP where the Congress government now appears to be on a sticky wicket," he added.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, considered to be a close aide of former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, parted way with the party on Tuesday after 18 years of association.

Nineteen MLAs, mostly his loyalists, have revolted against the Kamal Nath government and were holed up in hotels in Bengaluru. Three other legislators have also rebelled against the government, sources said.

Like Jyotiraditya Scindia, his grandmother, too, had started her political innings with the Congress and won two Lok Sabha elections from the family pocket borough of Guna Shivpuri in 1957 and 1962.

With Jyotiraditya Scindia joining the BJP on Wednesday, the entire Scindia family is now part of the saffron party.

His two aunts, Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje, are already in the BJP with the former having served as the Rajasthan chief minister for 10 years.

His father Madhavrao Scindia had also started his political innings as an MP of the Jana Sangh in 1971, but later joined the Congress.

The Scindia family, which originally hails from Maharashtra, is among the most distinguished political dynasties in the country and Jyotiraditya Scindia's decision has snapped its decades-long ties with the Congress.

According to those close to the Scindia family, it is going to be after 43 years, that the Scindias will be sailing in the same boat -- the BJP.

In 1977, Jyotiraditya Scindia's father Madhavrao Scindia left the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. He had fought the general elections from Guna-Shivpuri as an Independent candidate in 1977 before joining Congress in 1980.

Jyotiraditya Scindia joined politics after the sudden death of his father in a plane crash in 2001. He was only 31 years old at that time. He contested his first Lok Sabha election from his home-turf Guna in 2002.

Mumbai-born Jyotiraditya is an alumini of Doon School, Dehradun. He obtained his BA degree in Economics from Harvard College, US, in 1993. In 2001, he completed MBA from Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

The four-time MP and former Union minister had declared assets worth Rs 373 crore during the last Lok Sabha elections. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 polls from Guna.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.