Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit from the Congress seems to have come at a very wrong time for the Central party leadership. The Nehru-Gandhi family which almost always enjoy the luxury of being whimsical when it came to managing the party affairs given the supremo-dynast culture in the grand old party, is in for a sudden shock. Now, the regional leaders have realised that the high command is finding it hard to keep the house in order and that this is the right time to undermine them.
What has further aggravated this situation is the fact that Rajya Sabha polls are around the corner and therefore all regional leaders are negotiating hard for the Rajya Sabha berths.
Fearing with the prospect of another Madhya Pradesh like exodus in other states, the Central leadership is also succumbing to such vocal demands from within its state units.
Thus, in the state of Gujarat from where the party wanted to nominate Rajeev Shukla to the Rajya Sabha, it faced a major backlash from the supporters of Bharatsinh Solanki. Ultimately, it was Bharatsinh Solanki who prevailed and the Nehru-Gandhi family’s plans of sending Rajeev Shukla to the Upper House got spoiled.
Similarly, in the case of Haryana too, the Central leadership seems to have given in to the state leadership even as BS Hooda bargained hard for his son, former Lok Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda. In order to mount pressure on 10 Janpath, he brought his 24 MLAs to the National Capital in a massive show of strength.
Again, it was the Central leadership which had to relent and forgo its ambitions of sending Sonia Gandhi-loyalist Kumari Selja, a sitting Rajya Sabha MP to the Upper House for a second term. This also came as a signal that Hoodas dominate the Congress in Haryana. This time around, the party won 31 seats in the state- a significant improvement to its tally of 15 seats in 2014 Assembly polls and now BS Hooda has exploited it to the maximum possible extent.
In the state of Rajasthan too, where the Congress already faces the threat of a Sachin Pilot-Ashok Gehlot split triggering a major exodus just like the Jyotiraditya Scindia-Kamal Nath split triggered an exodus in Madhya Pradesh bringing it below the majority mark, a turf war has broken out over Rajya Sabha nominations.
Neeraj Dangi, considered close to Gehlot has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha and this has caused a major feud within the Rajasthan unit. Congress lawmaker, Ved Prakash Solanki has even spoken up against his nomination and has also taken a dig at him over having lost three elections in the past.
The biggest fallout of the Scindia episode as far as 10 Janpath is concerned is that the local leadership has realised that the Central leadership is clearly on the backfoot. The Nehru-Gandhi family is finding it hard to keep its flock together and avoid another Madhya Pradesh like exodus. The family can no longer strongarm the local leadership like it used to immediately before the Scindia episode and thus the local leaders are making full use of this situation becoming rather vocal about their demands.