Congress leader, Jyotiraditya Scindia has been in the news over the recent past in the context of his ongoing tussle with the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Kamal Nath.
Recently, he threatened to hit the streets if the Congress government in the state doesn’t fulfill its promises of farm loan waiver and absorption of guest teachers in state government service. His remarks provoked a terse, angry reply from the Madhya Pradesh CM, Kamal Nath who said, said, “Toh utar jayein (Let him hit the streets if he wants to).”
Now, even the central party leadership has involved itself in the bitter tussle, and it seems that trouble is going to mount for Scindia.
This time around a fresh controversy has arisen over the Rajya Sabha elections. Three Rajya Sabha seats are going to fall vacant in Madhya Pradesh in a couple of months. Congress is set to win two of these seats given the current composition in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
And this is exactly where a fresh ground of conflict has arisen within the Congress. The grand old party has been aggressively projecting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a Rajya Sabha nominee in the backdrop of the approaching Rajya Sabha elections.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, a former Union Minister and lawmaker lost from his pocket borough, Guna Lok Sabha constituency, during the General Elections last year. As such, he is also a frontrunner for the Rajya Sabha seat. With the growing clamour within the Congress to get Priyanka Vadra elected to the Rajya Sabha, it is clear that either the sitting Rajya Sabha MP, Digvijaya Singh or the Scindia dynast will be made to sacrifice.
As per latest reports, however, it seems that it is Scindia who is going to be made the sacrificial lamb after all. There are many reasons that give rise to this belief. It is important to mention here that Digvijaya Singh belongs to the old guard within the Congress- the same group of sycophants to which the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Kamal Nath also belongs.
This old guard is much closer to the all powerful Nehru-Gandhi family, which also explains why Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot had prevailed over Scindia and Pilot respectively after the 2018 Assembly polls.
When the choice is between Scindia and Digvijaya Singh, it is highly likely that the Nehru-Gandhi family would prefer the latter, especially in the context of the recent past in which Scindia seems to have questioned the party leadership multiple times.
Today, Scindia is threatening to hold agitations if the Congress doesn’t fulfill its promises. He is essentially talking of those poll promises, including the much-hyped farm loan waiver, that Rahul Gandhi had spoken of during the 2018 Assembly polls in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
Moreover, the Madhya Pradesh Congress unit is currently plagued with factionalism. Jyotiraditya Scindia represents and leads that faction which stands against the old guard- the family loyalists. This places him in a precarious position when it comes to the upcoming Rajya Sabha contest.
Apart from this, he spoke against his party’s stand on Article 370 abrogation last year. A popular dynast in Guna constituency, the Nehru-Gandhi family would obviously view him as a threat. Unlike Rahul Gandhi, Scindia is not an ineffective dynast and continues to enjoy a lot of influence in the Guna region of Madhya Pradesh.
On the other hand, Kamal Nath’s anti-Hindu policies and minority appeasement tactics fit in perfectly for the family dominated party. The party high command would therefore be looking to sideline Jyotiraditya Scindia and the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections offer a perfect opportunity to do so.
Digvijaya Singh also understands that he is quickly running out of steam as far as political popularity is concerned. Thus, he is trying to leverage years of sycophancy to the maximum possible extent. Singh might have therefore aligned himself strongly with the Kamal Nath faction in Madhya Pradesh. Even the possibility of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh jointly orchestrating the downfall of Scindia cannot be ruled out.
Once Scindia is snubbed and Priyanka Vadra is sent to Rajya Sabha, the former won’t be able to say much about it. In the heat of the moment, he might indulge in anti party activity, or even break away from the Congress, forming his own political outfit. It therefore seems that the Congress is all set to snub Scindia in a big way all over again. This time for Priyanka Vadra.