Bhopal: Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is heading for a crushing defeat in the Guna Lok Sabha constituency, with the BJP’s K.P. Yadav leading by about 1.25 lakh votes.
A loss for Jyotiraditya, who has represented the constituency since 2002, will be a first for the Scindia dynasty, which once ruled the Gwalior State in pre-Independent Central India.
The family has never lost Guna — Jyotiraditya, his father, the late Madhavrao Scindia, and his grandmother, late Vijayaraje Scindia, have all represented the constituency since 1957, except in 1967 and 1984. On both occasions, the seat was not fought by the family, which had shifted to the nearby Gwalior Lok Sabha seat.
Such has been the Scindia stranglehold of the region that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had won in Gwalior in 1971, lost to Madhavrao Scindia in the seat in 1984.
Even in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the Modi wave reduced the Congress to just two of 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh, Guna was one of them.
The result is also another setback for Jyotiraditya, who lost out on the chance to become the youngest chief minister of the state when the Congress won the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh in 2018.
The party had instead picked its state Congress chief Kamal Nath for the top job in the state.
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The Scindia dynasty and its politics
The Scindia dynasty’s association with Parliament began with the entry of Vijayaraje Scindia, popularly known as Rajmata of Gwalior, who won the Shivpuri Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket in 1957. Shivpuri is now the Guna Lok Sabha seat.
She, however, began to ally with the Sangh Parivar and the BJP leadership and in 1980, was made one of the Jan Sangh’s vice-presidents. Like his mother, Madhavrao also joined the Jan Sangh and in the 1971 Lok Sabha elections, the mother-son duo were among the few leaders who defied the Indira Gandhi wave and emerged victorious from their respective constituencies.
In 1980, Madhavrao joined Indira Gandhi’s Congress, a party that had jailed his mother during the Emergency years. His sisters, Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje, however, followed in their mother’s footsteps and joined the BJP.
In 1998, Vasundhara was a junior external affairs minister in the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet. Almost a year later, she was made a minister with independent charge of small scale industries and agro and rural industries.
Ahead of the 2003 Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Vasundhara was flown to Rajasthan and projected as the BJP’s face. In December 2003, she was elected as the chief minister of Rajasthan, a post she held till December 2008.
Vasundhara lost her post as the BJP was ousted from power by the Congress in the state. However, Scindias’ sway in politics did not end with Vasundhara’s unseating as Jyotiraditya had become a Union minister by then.
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Jyotiraditya in Parliament
Jyotiraditya was the union minister of state for communication and information technology between 2007 and 2009 during UPA I. During the UPA II, he worked as the union minister of state for commerce and industries besides being the union minister of state for power.
The representation of Scindias in Parliament and in the country’s political horizon continued to remain.
In the 2014 general elections, when the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was crushed by Modi wave, Scindia, who was seeking re-election for the third time, got elected from Guna.
His aunt Vasundhara was also the chief minister of Rajasthan between 8 December 2013 and 11 December 2018.
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