Yesterday, when Jyotiraditya Scindia decided to severe his ties with the Congress following a long-standing dispute with the Gandhi loyalist old guard in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Assam Finance Minister and Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma was the first one to congratulate him from within the BJP.
Sarma who was earlier a Congress colleague of Scindia has now become his BJP colleague even as Scindia has joined the party. The senior Assamese leader tweeted, “A great #Holi this is! Heartening to see old colleague, & very dynamic Sri @JM_Scindia having come to the fold of @BJP4India, a party that’s a rangoli of all colors & believes in taking everyone along. We shall have a great time together #JyotiradityaScindia ji.”
A great #Holi this is!
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) March 10, 2020
The fact that Himanta Biswa Sarma should welcome Jyotiraditya Scindia is only appropriate, given the fact that both leaders have similar trappings- young, inspiring and meritorious.
Himanta Biswa Sarma had himself joined the BJP in 2015 after quitting the Congress party. The reason was again two-fold: limited scope for someone from outside the Gandhis to rise in ranks within the Congress and a bitter cold shoulder by the first family of the grand old party.
Sharing an anecdote about Rahul Gandhi’s pidi (his pet dog cum PR stunt) which seems to have triggered Sarma to quit the Congress. While a PR stunt was being carried out with reference to this dog, Sarma had claimed he remembered the dog in question well, for Rahul had been busy feeding him biscuits at an important meeting with Sarma.
Sir @OfficeOfRG,who knows him better than me.Still remember you busy feeding biscuits 2 him while We wanted to discuss urgent Assam's issues https://t.co/Eiu7VsuvL1
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 29, 2017
While during his stint with the Congress, Sarma was working under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi who was more interested in playing with his dog, the senior Assam leader has witnessed a meteoric rise in around five years of his association with the BJP.
Today, he is the tallest leader in not only Assam but the entire Northeast, something that he would have never achieved had he decided to remain with the Congress under the shadow of the Gandhis.
Today, he is the Assam Finance Minister. But after he dealt successfully with the brief crisis that the BJP faced due to the manufactured anti CAA rioting in Assam, he is set to play even bigger roles.
It is a well known fact that with his rich administrative experience, Sarma is more suited to the Home portfolio than Finance in the Assam government and for that matter he is being seen as a strong contender for the Chief Ministerial position in 2021 Assam Elections.
Now, just like Himanta Biswa Sarma, Jyotiraditya has also broken out from the shackles of the family enterprise called the Congress. And he too would want to rise like his to be colleague, Sarma.
With the Congress, one gets dragged down well below his potential especially in the present era when the family helming the affairs right at the top of the party structure has set really low benchmarks for itself.
When the family itself doesn’t have much interest in rising up the ranks and wants to waste away crucial moments playing with a dog, there is not much scope for a meteoric rise for those outside the family and its coterie. This is why Jyotiraditya Scindia and Himanta Biswa Sarma never achieved what they truly deserve to, as long as they were a part of the Congress.
Rahul Gandhi’s disastrous persona is also the reason why Kamal Nath prevailed over Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh, while Ashok Gehlot prevailed over Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan.
With Scindias, the Congress has done more harm than good to the dynasty. Unlike the Gandhis, the Scindias do not have any controversies against them- absolutely no allegations of scandals or scams. Yet the Congress has dragged down their name primarily due to the infame associated with the Gandhis.
Now, as Jyotiraditya Scindia looks towards the BJP, he finally gets an opportunity to prove his mettle. The work culture within the BJP is highly professional and it rewards merit over nepotism- the biggest example being Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
Even for those who do not have strong roots with the RSS, there is enough scope for rising in ranks if there is necessary talent- career diplomats like Hardeep Singh Puri and S. Jaishankar being the biggest examples. The Scindias however do have relations with the RSS. Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia too was a founding member of the BJP.
In such circumstances, it seems that Jyotiraditya Scindia is rightly following the path laid down by Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP’s key man in the Northeast. Himanta Biswa Sarma is a model that must inspire not only Jyotiraditya Scindia but every young, meritorious and talented leader who has his energies trapped within the unsuccessful family enterprise of the Congress.