Jyotiraditya Scindia quits: Will Congress loss be BJP’s gain?
The Congress, which swiftly moved to expel Scindia for “anti-party activities”, is now staring at the collapse of its government in Madhya Pradesh where it came to power in 2018 after a gap of 15 years.Updated: Mar 11, 2020 08:43 IST
Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Union minister and a prominent face of the Congress, announced his resignation from the party on Tuesday by posting his resignation letter on Twitter. He is expected to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before Friday, which is the last date of filing nominations for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
Scindia’s resignation created ripple effects with 22 of 114 Congress MLAs submitting their resignation to the Madhya Pradesh assembly speaker. The Congress, which swiftly moved to expel Scindia for “anti-party activities”, is now staring at the collapse of its government in Madhya Pradesh where it came to power in 2018 after a gap of 15 years.Hours after Scindia quit the Congress, BJP’s central election committee met at its Delhi headquarters in which the names of candidates for the upcoming March 26 Rajya Sabha elections were discussed. When asked about his reaction to speculations about his joining the BJP, Scindia smiled and said, “Happy Holi.”
Scindia was expelled from Congress following his resignation. While the Congress legislature party thanked the party high command for this decision during a meeting held on Tuesday, his exit is seen as a huge blow for the Congress, especially since it comes at a time when the party is struggling to give a new shape to its organisation. His exit, following a long-drawn out friction within Congress’s MP unit, once again underlined the frustration within the party over the top leadership’s indecisiveness and status quoist approach.
Congress MLA in Haryana, Kuldeep Bishnoi tweeted, “Scindia’s departure is a big blow to @INCIndia. He was a central pillar in the party & the leadership should’ve done more to convince him to stay. Like him, there are many other devoted INC leaders across the country who feel alienated, wasted & discontented.” Speculations about Scindia’s next steps were further fulled by Yashodhara Scindia, BJP leader and Scindia’s aunt, who said, “I am very happy and congratulate him. This is ‘ghar wapsi’. Madhavrao Scindia had started his political career with Jana Sangh. Jyotiraditya was being neglected in Congress.”
Scindia’s grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia, was among the founders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the precursor to the BJP, and was imprisoned during Emergency.His aunt Vasundhara Raje is a former Union minister, ex-chief minister of Rajasthan and currently the national vice president of Bharatiya Janata Party. A BJP functionary said, “So far it seems likely that he [Scindia] will formally join the BJP and his name could be proposed as a candidate from the BJP’s side in Madhya Pradesh,” said a party functionary. Biennial elections will be held to fill three seats from the state and a change of guard in the state will have an impact on the Rajya Sabha polls as well.