Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from Congress Party; MP Government on the brink of fall.

by Shatakshi Gupta

Jyotiraditya Scindia, former MP from Guna seat has resigned from Congress Party. He remained with the party for the last 18 years, he was very close to the top leadership of the Indian National Congress and remained the most important figure of Congress Party in Madhya Pradesh. Along with him 22 MLAs of ruling party including 6 ministers also resigned in support of Scindia. He is likely to join BJP, Scindia is expected to get a Rajya Sabha ticket from Madhya Pradesh by the BJP after he met Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah earlier in the Tuesday. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday wrote to Governor, seeking removal of 6 ministers. Meanwhile, 22 party MLAs also tendered their resignation from the MP Assembly. Scindia has the support of between 17 to 20 MLAs. Neither central nor state leaders of the BJP were aware of the developments, and that it was planned by Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan. In 230 members assembly, the Congress has 114 MLAs and the support of four Independents, one SP MLA, and two BSP MLAs. The BJP has 109 MLAs. Whereas, two seats are not filled.

Why he left Congress?

 Scindia is likely to become a Cabinet minister in the BJP government at the Centre, through the route of Rajya Sabha and his nominee will become a deputy chief minister if the BJP manages to form the government in Madhya Pradesh. Scindia had been exploring the option of joining the BJP for the last 2 months and the Congress upper leadership prevarication over his nomination to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh was only the immediate reason. So, he decided to enter the Rajya Sabha as a BJP leader now.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath, whose government is now on the brink of fall due to the resultant defections of at least 22-25 Congress MLAs of the Scindia camp, is also one of the biggest reasons. Kamal Nath refused to maintain good relations with Scindia and actually kept him isolated to the extent that he stalled the Scindia’s claim for the post of the state Congress chief. This is evident from the fact, that senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, sought to convince Kamal Nath last month of the need to co-opt with  Scindia, but he did not pay any attention towards that advice. A businesswoman had organized an informal meet for these three leaders (Scindia, Nath, and Digvijay Singh) Scindia had then complained that even his recommendations for transfer of officials were being rejected.

 Scindia also has been upset with Gandhi family not just because of the way they allowed him to be undermined in the party but also, he saw the Congress is nosediving in every election under their leadership. In his resignation letter, Scindia said, “This is the path that has been drawing itself out over the last year.” The way started drawing itself out about 14 months ago, ahead of the Madhya Pradesh assembly election, then Congress president Rahul Gandhi had assured him that he would be considered for the post of the chief minister. When results were out, the high command went for the name of Kamal Nath over Scindia, a move attributed to the reluctance of Sonia Gandhi to make a young leader CM who might outshine Rahul Gandhi emerge as his challenger. That was exactly why many in the party said that Sonia Gandhi kept the post of deputy leader of the Lok Sabha vacant for two years after 2017 even though Scindia was keen on that post.

Also Rahul had offered the post of deputy chief minister to him, Scindia declined but said he would nominate someone for the deputy CM post. Rahul then said that in such case Kamal Nath would also nominate his second deputy CM. After he resigned, following the party’s dismal show in the Lok Sabha elections, the high command made no move to pacify him. Instead, Priyanka Gandhi, general secretary in-charge of eastern UP, took over making party appointments across the state, without even bothering to consult Scindia. He was also antagonized with the party’s take on many issues like the opposition of the abrogation of Article 370. He found the party’s criticism nonsensical.  Overall it can be said that this move was not a one-day development, it involved deep-rooted politics and grew eventually.