Monday, January 30, 2023
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How BJP tapped Jyotiraditya Scindia’s isolation in Congress to make him quit the party

BJP meeting in Bhopal today where Jyotiraditya Scindia is set to be inducted, paving way for Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s return as MP chief minister.

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New Delhi: The BJP has called a meeting in Bhopal Tuesday evening to elect Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its new legislature party leader. And if there is no sudden change in script at the last moment, Congress leader Jyotiratidya Scindia will join the BJP and get inducted into Narendra Modi’s Union Cabinet after the meeting.

Scindia has already tendered his resignation from the Congress, pointing out the need to “reflect” and “realise” the aspiration of “my people and my workers”. “…I believe it is best that I now look ahead at a fresh start,” he wrote in a letter dated 9 March to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.

“While my aim and purpose remain the same as it has always been from the very beginning, to serve the people of my state and country, I believe I am unable to do this anymore within this party,” he said in the letter.

The former Gwalior royal met Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday morning. BJP sources said modalities are being worked out for his induction into the party Tuesday evening — on the 75th birth anniversary of his father and late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia — and new government formation in MP under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The induction is likely to take place around 6 pm.

“This is not something that has happened overnight but had been brewing for a long time. Earlier Kamal Nath was able to manage it, but this time things went out of hand,” said a senior BJP member.

“We have breached the first barrier, and are now waiting for MLAs from the Scindia camp to announce their resignation. This is a gamble and we are playing with high precision,” a BJP leader associated with the latest ‘Operation Kamal’ told ThePrint.

“That is the reason the BJP first waited for Scindia’s meeting with the PM. We are now waiting for MLAs’ resignation. That is why the BJP legislature party meeting was called on the day on Holi,” the leader added.

BJP readying to form govt in MP

On Monday night, Chouhan and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar met at Shah’s residence along with BJP national president J.P. Nadda to finalise the strategy for government formation.

At the BJP meeting in Bhopal, the sources said, MLAs will elect Chouhan as the new leader replacing Gopal Bhargava. Chouhan is likely to move a no-confidence motion on 16 March when Kamal Nath is scheduled to present the state budget, if he does not resign before that.

The sources claimed that Scindia had gone too far, and there was little chance of rapprochement with the Congress now, adding the BJP high command got involved only after the former MP assured the leadership that he would switch sides.

The BJP sources claimed that the party offered him a cabinet berth and assured that his supporters would be accommodated in the Chouhan government. Scindia is likely to be sent to the Rajya Sabha from MP.

The sources said the BJP does not want a repeat of Maharashtra, so it’s taking extra precaution to avoid any embarrassment. “So, the initial talks were held at the local level, and the central leadership was involved only when Scindia sent his MLAs to Bangalore.”

Narrottam Mishra, who was one of the point-persons for the operation, told ThePrint: “Scindia is a big leader and the Scindia family had been part of the Jana Sangh. We will welcome him with open heart.”

Also read: Jyotiraditya Scindia quits Congress, can’t serve people by being in the party, he tells Sonia

BJP tapped Scindia isolation and dissatisfaction 

Speaking to TherPrint, a BJP leader said Scindia had been facing isolation in the Congress for a long time.

“He was ignored, and was upset with Kamal Nath-Digvijaya jugalbandi. His candidature for the post of chief minister was denied. Sonia Gandhi had said that age was on his side and he would be made the Madhya Pradesh Congress president, but Kamal Nath did not cede this post to Scindia.”

The leader said Scindia had been waiting for the announcement of Rajya Sabha candidature but there was no communication from the top. This is when the BJP got in touch with Scindia and convinced him that there was no future for him in the Congress under the “ineffective leadership” of Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath, he added.

In January 2019, Scindia had sparked a buzz in Bhopal by calling on Chouhan. Both had then termed the meeting a courtesy call.

In November 2019, he signalled his dissatisfaction by dropping references to his official post in the Congress in his Twitter bio. He later played it down, though sources had then said Congress and Kamal Nath had “undermined his anger and frustration”.

“We had been in touch with Scindia for the last five months. Initiative was taken by Scindia, who then took time to reassure himself about quitting the Congress. When he gave the green signal, the BJP top leadership got involved,” the BJP leader told ThePrint.

Scindias’ BJP connection

It’s late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia’s 75 birthday today. His son Jyotiraditya Scindia has chosen the same day to join the BJP, which many senior leaders in the party claim was a wish his late grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia nurtured.

Vijaya Raje joined the Jana Sangh in 1967, and was one of the founding members of the BJP. Her daughter Vasundhara Raje entered politics through BJP and served as a three-time chief minister. Another daughter Yashodhara Raje is also in the BJP.

Vasundhara’s son Dushyant is also a BJP MP, and his aunt Maya Singh served as Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP and was a minister in Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

After Madhavrao’s death in a helicopter crash in 2001, Jyotiraditya was elected as Lok Sabha MP from Guna on a Congress ticket in 2002.

(With inputs from Neelam Pandey)

Also read: 18 Scindia loyalist MLAs camping at Bengaluru resort as the leader quits Congress

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  1. Congress party headed by Gandhi’s is playing murky politics as far as national security is concerned.the sooner the demise of congress party the better for the country.under the strong and able leadership of modi,this country will prosper and compete with China.

  2. by joining bjp now, scindia is showing such low moral fiber that his worst critic had not suspected.

  3. Sad to see Everyday Congress is going down & out..but the fact is CWC who is cluster of old folks is meant to destroy Congress. There is no leadership left and only God can save this Grand old party. It’s high time for Congress Gandhi dynasty to take harsh steps to move away and take bitter medicine to handover to genx if they want to revive the fortunes of the party by getting its organisation active and connecting to the grass root workers & national as well as regional issues. If they don’t realise.. death of the party is imminent.

  4. Welcome Scindia in BJP, however, loyalty, principles & commitment is a thing of the past in Indian politics!

  5. 1. Jyotiraditya Scindia was unhappy as he was not considered, first for post of Chief Minister, and then for post Chief of Madhya Pradesh Congress party. 2. Latest developments in Madhya Pradesh and the internal squabbles in the grand old party are indicative of factors that will adversely impact political fortunes and future of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh as also elsewhere. 3. As we all know the Congress has actually become a regional party, with less than 50 Lok Sabha MPs. Is it not true that Congress’ national status is already under a threat? 4. Regional parties like RLD, and NCP, with whom Congress has alliances in Bihar and Maharashtra respectively, are seen to dictate terms to the Congress party and the Congress’ top leadership appears to be helpless. This is very sad but perhaps a bitter reality. 5. What will happen in Madhya Pradesh in coming months can be guessed, Question is how long would it take for the Congress High command to accept ground reality that the Congress cannot regain its status without organizational restructuring and revamp?

  6. People like you who phrased heading like Jyotiraditya is 5 yr old kid and someone has misguided him.
    He has been campaigning for months criticising state govt for not implying promises made to wave of farmers loan.
    After 15 yrs congress came into power and again…they are misusing it.
    All congress and it’s puppies (Shanker Arnimesh)
    Will vanish soon and A New and prosperous India will born.

  7. Don’t just be the puppet of the BJP by happily serving the news for them for their prosperity.
    Be independent as a news provider….

  8. BJP did not have to spend money to buy MLA’s of the Congress in MP. Congress donated those MLA’s to BJP for free. Congress mukt Bharat will become a reality very soon.

  9. Sad. BJP will use him and spit him ASAP . It is worse than congress.youngman like him can use other professions instead of sick politics. Hope he is always on guard with Tom and Dick of BJP.

  10. Congress, it was hoped against hope, would reinvent itself. But that hope seems to have gone. Unless they conduct organizational elections, and leaders for various positions are democratically elected, the party will see no rejuvenation – nor their leaders will earn any respect.
    a k pattabiraman, chennai

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