Gwalior: Former Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, scion of the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior who Tuesday severed his 18-year ties with the party, has the city standing in support of his decision.
From students to businessmen, many residents of Gwalior feel Scindia was not being treated well in the Congress.
“He was a raja (king) without power. No one in the Congress used to listen to him. He made the right decision to quit the party,” said Dilip Chandel, a small-time businessman of Gwalior district.
“Unke saath galat hua. Wo koi chhetriya neta thodi na hai jis tarah se unhein humiliate kiya (Scindia has been wronged. He was not just a regional leader. He was humiliated),” Chandel added. “He worked for the party for years and should have been given a good post.”
In a decision that stunned the Congress party and its supporters, Scindia Tuesday tendered his resignation saying it was “a path that has been drawing itself out over the last year”.
The former Gwalior royal then met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday. He joined the BJP Wednesday.
On Holi, city surprised by move
The development on the festive day of Holi surprised many in Gwalior, and this was evident by the fact that the entire city and its surrounding areas were dotted with the Congress’ Holi posters with photographs of Scindia and local leaders.
“Scindia first played a crucial role in the Congress coming to power. Most of the MLAs who have resigned are from Gwalior and the Chambal areas,” said Arif Khan, a resident of Gwalior who works in a government office.
“While everyone thought he would be made the CM, he was denied that. And then they didn’t make him the state president. They really tested his patience.”
According to a Congress functionary, the party had performed well in the Gwalior-Chambal region winning 24 out of the 32 assembly seats in the December 2018 elections — a major reason for many feeling that Scindia will be given the chief minister’s post.
In DD Nagar area of Gwalior, Scindia quitting the Congress became part of Holi celebrations as people were seen discussing his “political ambitions”.
“Without power, it is not possible to do anything whether you are from the royal family or not. He was the raja, but when it comes to having power, he had none,” said Raju Katare, a student preparing for the civil services examination.
“Both Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh were calling the shots. We have been hearing about his quitting the party for a long time but thought they were rumours,” he added.
“If he joins the BJP, he will be able to get a lot of work done that has been pending for so long. The Congress government refuses to carry out developmental work for Gwalior and Chambal.”
‘Should’ve formed his own party’
Manju Singh, a home-maker based out of Maharajpur in Gwalior district, supported Scindia’s decision to quit the Congress but felt he should have formed his own party.
“Quitting the Congress is the right decision as there is nothing there left for him. He should’ve formed his own party rather than joining BJP as he will always be at odds there,” she said.
“Soon after Scindiaji resigned, I also offered my resignation. Wherever he will go, we will follow him as he is our leader,” said Praveen Agarwal, who resigned as the vice-chairman of the Gwalior Trade Fair Authority.
“The Congress didn’t give him his dues. Contrary to what people are saying, it’s not all about ambitions, it is actually about self-respect and dignity.”
Others are hopeful of change in the region. “There are a number of projects that were planned for Gwalior and the surrounding areas but the Congress government in a bid to snub Scindia has not started any one of them. We hope things will change now,” said Sunder Singh, another businessman in the city.