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Jyotiraditya's BJP Move Casts Shadow Over Aide-Turned-Adversary Krishnapal's Future

Jyotiraditya's wife had infamously shared a photo of the BJP leader and ridiculed him saying that a man who once stood waiting in queues to click a selfie with the "Maharaj," is now the BJP’s nominee.

“Bilkul, bilkul, mein shrimant Scindia ji ko badhai dei chuka hoon. Merey parivar mein jo bhi aaye un ka swagat hai.”

“Yes, yes, I have congratulated Scindia ji. Whoever comes into my family is welcome.”

Dr Krishnapal Singh Yadav, representing the high-profile Guna Lok Sabha constituency which he snatched by defeating Jyotiraditya Scindia himself in the last Lok Sabha election, had only kind words for the new Bharatiya Janata Party entrant.

Jyotiraditya was the first member of erstwhile Gwalior family to face a defeat in any elections.

Yesterday, after Scindia joined BJP, Yadav took to Twitter to congratulate him.

His tweet translates to, “Respected Scindia ji took membership of BJP in presence of respected BJP chief J.P. Nadda, state incharge Shri Vinay S., Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, state BJP chief Vishnudutt Sharma. My hearty welcome and greetings.”

Refusing to comment on the developments, sources close to Yadav said the BJP MP has kept his mobile phone switched off and has not walked out of his house since the afternoon of March 11.

“It’s certainly a happy moment for bhaiya ji (Yadav). With Scindia ji joining BJP, bhaiya ji will be able to strengthen his ties with him again,” said a source close to the Guna MP.

Yadav’s father was also a Congress worker and served as the party’s Ashok Nagar district unit chief. A Scindia loyalist, he announced his departure from the Congress after he was unable to get a ticket to contest in the 2018 assembly elections. He said that the party leadership has failed to recognise his hard work in the region. Yadav who was in charge of Scindia’s election campaign, then joined the BJP and was nominated against Scindia from Guna.

Back then, Jyotiraditya’s wife Priyadarshini Raje Scindia had infamously shared a photo of the BJP leader with her husband on social media and ridiculed him saying that a man who once stood waiting in queues to click a selfie with the “Maharaj,” is now the BJP’s nominee.

However, Scindia who has been representing Guna seat for the last 17 years, lost his family bastion to Yadav, a doctor by profession, and once a close aide of his. Scindia faced a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections and lost by a margin of 1,25,549 votes.

In the last over five decades, no family member of the erstwhile royal family had faced a defeat in any election. Notably, during the last five decades, at least one member of the royal family has represented the erstwhile Gwalior kingdom in parliament.

Change

The entry of Scindias into electoral politics began with the entry of Vijaya Raje Scindia, popularly known as Rajmata of Gwalior.

Jyotiraditya’s grandmother, Rajmata entered politics in 1957 when she contested and won the Guna Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh on a Congress ticket.

She eventually got close to the Sangh Parivar and BJP leadership and was made one of its vice-presidents in the year 1980.

The second instance of change in political affiliation from the Scindias had come from Rajmata’s son Madhavrao, the father of Jyotiraditya.

In the sixties, Madhavrao had joined the Jan Sangh. Such was the clout of Scindias in the Gwalior-Chambal region that during 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.

However, in 1980, Madhavrao joined Indira Gandhi’s Congress, a party which had jailed his mother during the Emergency.

Representation

In coming years, Madhavrao’s sisters Vasundhara and Yashodhara followed in their mother’s footsteps and joined the saffron party.

In 1998, Vasundhara Raje became a junior external affairs minister in late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet. Almost a year later, she was made minister with independent charge of small scale industries and agro and rural industries.

Ahead of the 2003 assembly elections in Rajasthan, Vasundhara was projected as BJP’s face in the state. In December 2003, she became the chief minister of Rajasthan, a post which she held till December 2008.

Also read: With Jyotiraditya Scindia’s BJP Entry, What Happens to the MLAs in His Camp?

Vasundhara lost her post when the BJP was ousted from power by the Congress in the state. However, the Scindias’ sway in politics did not end with Vasundhara’s unseating as Jyotiraditya had become a Union minister by then. Jyotiraditya was made Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology from 2007 to 2009 during UPA I. During UPA II, he worked as Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries and was also Union Minister of State for Power between 2009 and 2014.

The representation of Scindias in parliament and in the country’s political horizon continued further. In the 2014 general elections when Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was crushed by the Modi wave, Scindia who was seeking re-election for the third time got elected.

Impact

In the 2018 Assembly elections, Vasundhara, who led the party in the elections was unable to retain power, while in the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya, the head of the campaign committee during the elections was unable to secure the chief minister’s post.

Then, moments after Kamal Nath was named the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh on December 13, 2018, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had tweeted a picture and the photo was captioned, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time- Leo Tostoy”. The picture which he had taken with Scindia and Nath.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted this same photograph in the aftermath of Jyotiraditya’s desertion with queries that he refused to meet Scindia when the latter had sought time from him.

“He is the only person who could walk into my house any time. I went to college with him”.

With Scindia joining BJP, this is the first time since 1977 when the entire Scindia clan is together under the roof of one political party.

Meanwhile, Yadav may have welcomed Scindia on joining BJP, but at Guna Lok Sabha constituency, the stage is set for a clash of egos.