Scindia turns saffron, gets RS ticket
New Delhi/Bhopal: A former four-time Member of Parliament (MP) from Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress party on Tuesday, hours after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the PM's residence on 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi. He was inducted into the BJP in the presence of national party president J P Nadda at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Scindia's crossover has left the Madhya Pradesh government tottering precariously and both parties scrambling to send their legislators far away from the state capital — and from the machinations of each other.
In the list of its Rajya Sabha candidates, the BJP has included the name of the most high-profile addition to the party — Jyotiraditya Scindia — who has been named as the RS candidate from Madhya Pradesh. Among other leaders who have been named as candidates for the Upper House of Parliament are Bhuvaneshwar Kalita from Assam, Vivek Thakur from Bihar, Abhay Bharadwaj and Ramilaben Bara from Gujarat, Deepak Prakash from Jharkhand, Liesenba Maharaja from Manipur, Udyan Raje Bhosle from Maharashtra and Rajendra Gehlot from Rajasthan.
Scindia, 49, the proverbial centre of the political storm in Madhya Pradesh, belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior and has family links with both the Congress and the BJP.
Scindia will file his nomination papers for the March 26 Rajya Sabha polls from Bhopal on Friday, said MP BJP media cell in-charge Lokendra Parashar.
"There are two most significant dates in my life. First, September 30, 2001, when I lost my father (Madhavrao Scindia). And then March 10, 2020, when on his 75th birth anniversary, I took a decision that will start a new phase of my life," Scindia said while thanking BJP party president J P Nadda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home minister Amit Shah for welcoming him into the BJP family.
He added that he had entered political life only to serve the people of India, and that "politics was only a vehicle to achieve that goal".
"I am sad that a situation has come where I think that the Congress party is no more the same as it used to be. I can say with great faith that my goal to serve people was no more possible by remaining with that party," he said.
Calling Madhya Pradesh a piece of his heart ('dil ka bhag'), Scindia said at a press conference with Nadda by his side his dream for the state had been shattered in the last 18 months — when the Congress won the Assembly elections and Kamal Nath became Chief Minister.
He went on to mount a series of attacks on the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh.
He said the Congress promised to waive farmers' loans in 10 days but that is yet to happen. He added that farmers who were falsely accused in the Mandsaur firing were still languishing in prison, even as there are no new opportunities for employment.
"Instead, corruption has got many more opportunities. Illegal sand mafia and transfer businesses are flourishing in the state now." Welcoming him into the BJP, Nadda said he was "joining his family".
"This is a joyous day for BJP and me personally. Today, I remember Rajmata Scindia... The entire family is with BJP," former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
The former Union minister and four-time Congress MP, known to be close to Rahul Gandhi, said the party is not what it used to be.
He also heaped praise on the Prime Minister, saying "the country is safe in his hands".