Madhya Pradesh Politics: Jyotiraditya Scindia Snaps His Family’s Ties With Congress
Jyotiraditya Scindia snapped his family’s ties with the Congress on his father’s 75th birth anniversary.
The scion of Gwalior's royal family announced his resignation after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He is now expected to join the Bharatiya Janata Party in a couple of days.
The saffron party, meanwhile, has set in motion its plan to topple the Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government weakened by the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs on Tuesday.
Peeved with his marginalisation in the Congress, Scindia met Shah at his residence in New Delhi. The duo then drove to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg—the prime minister’s residence—and held a more than an hour-long meeting with Modi.
Soon after the meeting ended, Scindia made public his resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying that it was now time for him to move on.
He is likely to join the BJP in a couple of days—in either Delhi or Bhopal—along with his supporters, including Congress MLAs who are loyal to him, sources said. He may also address a rally in Gwalior before making the move.
The Congress, on its part, announced he has been expelled for "anti-party activities".
While these was no official word on what transpired at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, sources said the fact that Modi and Shah held talks with Scindia for over an hour underscore the importance that they attach to him.
The two top BJP leaders are believed to have given shape to the modalities of Scindia's expected entry into the party. He is likely to be sent to the Rajya Sabha, sources said, adding that he may be included in the Union Cabinet if his revolt against the Congress topples the Madhya Pradesh government.
Elections for three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh is slated for March 26. Both the Congress and the BJP are sure to win one seat each, and the changing dynamics in the state politics means that the saffron party may eye the third seat.
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Scindia, 49, had been upset with the Congress as he believed that Kamal Nath and party stalwart Digvijaya Singh were working in tandem to marginalise him. Now, with him quitting the party, the Madhya Pradesh government appears headed for a collapse as 22 Congress MLAs loyal to him too have resigned.
The Congress has a slim majority in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, whose current effective strength is 228. With 22 MLAs now exiting the government, the strength of the assembly will fall to 206. A party would then need 104 MLAs to claim majority. The Congress, however, will be left with 92 seats while the BJP has 107 seats.
The Congress has the support of four Independent MLAs, two Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs and one Samajwadi Party MLA, but it is unclear if they will continue to support the grand-old party or go with the BJP.
The Scindia family is one of the most distinguished political dynasties in India, one that had till Tuesday decades-old ties with the Congress.
Jyotiraditya's aunts, Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje Scindia, are already in the BJP with the former serving as the Rajasthan chief minister for 10 years.
His father, Madhavrao Scindia, had started his political career as Member of Parliament of the Jana Sangh, the precursor of the BJP, in 1971 but joined the Congress later.
His grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia had begun his political career as a Congress MP in 1957 and then joined the now-defunct Swatantrata Party, before she moved to the Jana Sangh and emerged as a leading hardline ideologue of the saffron party.
Jyotiraditya Scindia represented Guna, Madhya Pradesh—his late father’s constituency—in the Lok Sabha for 17 years but lost the family bastion to BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh Yadav in the 2019 general elections.