Following reports of infighting within the Madhya Pradesh unit over the question of a Rajya Sabha ticket to Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress now seems to have made an attempt to placate the Scindia dynast.
As per an Amar Ujala report, the Nehru-Gandhi family is in favour of getting Jyotiraditya Scindia nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Even the party President, Sonia Gandhi is in agreement with allowing Scindia to get elected to the Upper House of the Parliament.
It must be noted that 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.
What was likely to cause trouble for Scindia, however, was the growing clamour within the Congress to get Priyanka Vadra elected to the Rajya Sabha. Since the grand old party seemed to be looking at getting the Gandhi scion elected to the Rajya Sabha, what it essentially meant was that either the sitting Rajya Sabha MP, Digvijaya Singh or the Scindia dynasty would have been made to sacrifice.
Given a choice between Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family would have chosen the former on any given day.
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.
Scindia was not even made the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee Chief, and the post is being currently held by CM Kamal Nath. This shows how the Old Guard has managed to prevail in Madhya Pradesh.
There has been a bitter tussle going on between the old Guard led by Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh. This was set to get worse over the Rajya Sabha nomination. Digvijaya Singh, who is well past his prime would have wanted to leverage the maximum out of years of sycophancy by sidelining Scindia.
Not just their own political survival, but Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh would also want to keep Scindia on the sidelines so that they can project sons- Nakul Nath and Jaivardhan Singh as the future of Madhya Pradesh politics.
Scindia, however, has been fighting it out and most recently went up in arms extending threats of starting an agitation if the Congress government in the state did not honour its promises of farm loan waiver and absorption of guest teachers in state government service.
Now, it is being said that the Congress might field Priyanka Gandhi in the Rajya Sabha polls from the state of Rajasthan. This virtually paves the way for Jyotiraditya Scindia to get elected from one of the three constituencies that will fall vacant in Madhya Pradesh.
This clearly shows how all attempts to get Scindia sidelined have failed as the party leadership has tried to placate him.
Even though he is seen as a threat even by the Nehru-Gandhi family, it is not easy for the party leadership to discard him very easily. The fact remains that unlike Rahul Gandhi, he is not an ineffective dynast and continues to enjoy a lot of influence in the Guna region of Madhya Pradesh.
Moreover, he also enjoys a lot of clout within the party. And he has a wide support base within the Congress under his own name.
He has been eyeing a Rajya Sabha berth since late December last year. He found support in his claim for a Rajya Sabha seat from his faction as well.
Even the Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Tulsi Silavat requested the party leadership to nominate Scindia to the Council of States in the Parliament. In fact, Scindia’s supporters have been demanding a Rajya Sabha berth for him ever since he lost the Lok Sabha polls from his pocket borough, Guna Lok Sabha constituency last year.
Scindia’s clout, his threats of agitation and growing demand within the party seem to have weighed in heavily as far as the Congress leadership’s decision to decide in favour of allowing Scindia to contest the Rajya Sabha Elections is concerned.
Any decision against Scindia’s claim to a Rajya Sabha seat could have triggered vocal protests within the Madhya Pradesh Congress unit, which would have further aggravated the ongoing crisis. Realising the dangers associated with snubbing and sidelining Scindia once again, it seems that the Nehru-Gandhi family has given in.