Rajasthan’s Mewar region, bordering the Gwalior region of Madhya Pradesh, has had age old contacts with the Scindia family, Gwalior’s erstwhile rulers. This was clearly visible in the instant rapport union minister of state for IT and communications, Jyotiraditya Scindia, established with the locals as he came campaigning for the Congress in the forthcoming assembly polls on December 4.
Arriving by private helicopter, Scindia addressed a rally in Bhinder, a small town of 30,000 people 475 km southwest of Jaipur, on Monday. Congress workers who had been waiting for him at the venue, vied with one another to garland him, but Scindia was all brisk business, accepting just a few garlands before striding up to dais, leaving many holding garlands they did not know what to do with.
It was all local issues in Scindia’s speech, with little mention terror or inflation. But a connection was immediately established when Scindia said: “We are all members of the same family. There is a state border dividing my region Mandsaur from yours. But it cannot separate us from each other.
“The Scindia family’s relationship with this region goes back several generations,” he added.
Scindia’s ability to connect was evident as he suddenly interrupted his speech to ask an old lady in the front of the audience: "Nili odhni wali mataji, aap meri baat sun rahain hain kya (Mother, with the blue dupatta, are you listening to me?)" The lady, whose attention had been wandering, at once looked at him and nodded energetically.
“I’m still learning the ropes in politics,” Scindia went on, admitting that there existed some ‘dirt’ in the vocation he had chosen. “It is possible I may not be able to change current trends in politics, but I assure you being in politics will not change me either.”
“Young people are attracted to Jyotiraditya,” observed Devendra Chobisa, 32, who was part of the audience. “But they have very high expectations from him too.”