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With Scindia gone, is this the beginning of an end for Congress in Madhya Pradesh?

Fifty-two years after a Scindia quit Congress, another Scindia, her grandson, has followed suit. The move had toppled Congress-led state government in Madhya Pradesh. Is history now repeating itself?

Jyotiraditya Scindia has quit Congress putting the Kamal Nath government in deep crisis, bringing an irreversible change to Madhya Pradesh politics. But, his decision comes after years of being mistreated and ignored by Congress. No, it isn’t betraying the Congress but this is the story of Scindia’s Ghar Wapsi!

Let me start with a little story. The story of Madhavrao Scindia. The year 1971 was a very crucial year for him. It was the year when his son Jyotiraditya was born and it was also the year he entered politics. Despite the huge Indira Gandhi wave that swept the country, there were only three people from the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh who won a Lok Sabha seat that year. Do you know who were they? Vijaya Raje Scindia from Bhind, Atal Bihari Vajpayee from Gwalior and Madhavrao Scindia from Guna!

The Scindia family has always been major patrons of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the Bharatiya Janata Party. They have also had a great relationship with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Jiwajirao Scindia, the grandfather of Jyotiraditya Scindia was the last Maratha King and had close ties with Nehru. So, after the death of Jiwajirao in 1961 and Nehru in 1964, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia saw no reason to stay back in the corrupt dynastic party. She first joined the Swatantra Party and then in 1967 she officially joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Even before officially joining Jana Sangh, the Scindias discreetly supported them but kept things under wraps owing to the Nehru factor. Madhavrao was the only member of the Scindia family who joined Congress. Rest all, from Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia to her daughters Vasundhara and Yashodhara, have all been a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party with Vasundhara being a two-time Chief Minister of Rajasthan. So, this is nothing but Gharwapsi for Jyotiraditya, who is honoured his late grandmother’s wishes on his father’s birthday!

Read: ‘Hath’ se nikal gaya: Amul takes a jibe on Jyotiraditya Scindia slipping out of Congress’ hand

Let us now look at how the exit of Jyotiraditya will change the political dynamics in Madhya Pradesh. In the previous Vidhan Sabha elections itself, Congress had just managed to win 114 seats, 1 seat short of the magic number, while the BJP had 107. However, Congress received the support of BSP (2 MLAs) and SP (1 MLA), taking their tally to 117. The current strength of the assembly is 228. Now, if the resignations of 19 MLAs who are loyal to Scindia are accepted, the strength will fall to 209, which makes the magic number as 105. But, by losing 19 members, Congress would be reduced to just 95 and BJP would comfortably cross the magic number on its own with the 107 seats. While the floor test on Monday is postponed after adjournment of Assembly session in view of coronavirus, I am sure that the saffron wave is bound to return.

Scindia’s exit has indeed triggered many leaders in the Congress. The Congress high-command seemed to have ignored those who have grievances in the party! For Mrs. Gandhi, the problem isn’t Scindia. For her, the problem at hand is who shall be the next Congress President – Rahul or Priyanka (as nobody else can even imagine being that!) The Nehru-Gandhi family has always been dictatorial in their approach of ruling the party, but now small rebellions have started cropping up in the states once the young leaders are realizing how much their contributions are being ignored by the High Command!

This fact is further proven by the recent Rajya Sabha poll nominations. Till now, 12 people have been nominated by the Congress. Most of them share a few common traits, namely: Loyalists of the First Family, dynasts, and election losers or un-electable! Now, for a partywho doesn’t value both talent and hard work, this is only natural. But for the youth in the party who are pouring their blood and sweat for the party, it is extremely hard to accept. So,when they see no growth in the party, it is only natural for them to move out. But this is something that the Congress honchos won’t get. They will label those who leave the party as traitors and will indulge in mudslinging instead of trying to mend their own ways. But they are now trying to protect the elephant in the room, which here is their top leadership, namely the three: Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka.

This new shift usher for a new wave in Madhya Pradesh. Jyotiraditya is a young, educated and dynamic politician whose only aim in life has always been to serve the people. So, a party like BJP, which shares the same vision and mission as him, will only ensure his growth and prosperity in politics. BJP isn’t a one-man or one-family party. They have always ensured that the deserving gets the chance to lead the party, from top party positions to tickets to the parliament, they have always given a fair chance to its members to prove their mettle. So,when such a talented chap joined BJP, they immediately offered him a ticket to Rajya Sabha!

Let me now end this article with another story. Fifty-two years ago, another Scindia left Congress which forced the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh to quit! Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia, unhappy with the way MP government was functioning quit Congress causing the D P Mishra-led Congress government to topple! Well as the saying goes, history repeats itself, doesn’t it?

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Abhinav Khare
Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News Network and also the host of a daily show named Deep Dive with AK.

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