BHOPAL: Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit from the Congress and the possible fall of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh is not the first time that a member of the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior has jolted the grand old party.
The history of the Scindia family exiting the Congress over insults and neglect by the party dates back to 1967 when the Congress government in the state was headed by D P Mishra.
Jyotiraditya’s grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia, who was then the Congress MP from Gwalior, severed her ties with the Congress after the then chief minister Mishra reportedly ridiculed the Gwalior royal family at a Youth Congress programme.
Hurt over it, Vijaya Raje formed a separate outfit, Jan Kranti Dal, with 26 Congress MLAs and toppled the government before authoring the formation of a Samyukt Vidhayak Dal (SAMVID) government headed by Govind Narayan Singh with the help of the Jan Sangh, the BJP’s precursor. However, the Samvid government couldn’t function long and collapsed in March 1971.
Both Vijaya Raje and son Madhavrao Scindia subsequently joined the Jan Sangh. Madhavrao (who went on to win nine Lok Sabha elections in his career), then won his maiden Lok Sabha poll from Guna on a Jan Sangh ticket.
While mother Vijaya Raje continued to patronise the Jan Sangh and later became one of the founding members of the BJP, Madhavrao won the 1977 Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate.
Three years later, Madhavrao switched over to the Congress and did a giant-killing act by defeating BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee from Gwalior in 1980.
Sixteen years later, Madhavrao formed a new political party, the Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress in 1996, after being refused a Congress ticket for the Lok Sabha polls. The Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress joined the multi-party alliance United Front, which ruled at the Centre for two years. In 1998, this party, however, again merged with the Congress.
The former union minister Madhavrao continued to be a Congress MP since then till his death in a plane crash in September 2001.
Since 2002, Madhavrao’s son Jyotiraditya has been with the Congress winning the Guna seat in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2014 before losing to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Jyotiraditya’s two aunts Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje have been with the BJP.
While Vasundhara has served as the CM of Rajasthan for 10 years, her sister Yashodhara has been a former BJP minister in Madhya Pradesh.
It’s the first time since 1971 that all members of Scindia clan are with the BJP. Welcoming her nephew’s decision to quit, his aunt, BJP MLA Yashodhara said, “There is nothing bigger than respect.”