THE day after resigning from the Congress, former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the BJP Wednesday in the presence of party president J P Nadda. Hours later, Scindia, who had served the Congress for 18 years, was rewarded — the BJP named him for a Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh.
Scindia’s official joining comes in the backdrop of an intensifying political crisis in Madhya Pradesh where the Kamal Nath-led Congress government is on the brink with both sides scrambling to send their legislators to safer places to protect them from walking over — or being lured — to the other side.
Along with Scindia, 22 MLAs from Madhya Pradesh Assembly, where Nath enjoys a slender majority, resigned and reduced the Congress government to a minority.
The BJP Tuesday night shifted its MLAs to Manesar near Gurugram in Haryana, while Congress shifted its flock to Jaipur Wednesday morning.
Scindia, flanked by Nadda, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and a host of other leaders including Syed Zafar Islam who apparently had a key role in getting the Scindia scion into the BJP camp, said: “I always believed that our aim should be Jan seva and politics should be a medium for that. But I can say that the aim of Jan Seva cannot be accomplished by being in the other party (Congress). The Congress is not what it used to be…So I took this decision to be part of country’s progress,” Scindia said.
“Pained” and “distressed” for not able to serve the people in his previous organisation, he said the Congress is living in denial and is not the party it used to be.
Slamming the Congress, Scindia said the Congress had failed the mandate it had been given by the people of Madhya Pradesh. He said the Congress government has not fulfilled any of the promises it had given to the people in the state. “Transfer industry is flourishing in Madhya Pradesh…Dream lies shattered, whether it was about waiving farmers’ loans or compensating farmers for the crop damaged due to natural reasons,” Scindia said.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda, Scindia said they have given him the platform to serve the people. Praising Modi for his leadership, Scindia said the country’s future is secure in his hands.
Welcoming him into the BJP, Nadda recalled the party’s founder and Jyotiraditya’s grandmother Vijaya Raje Scindia and said, “He is joining his family and we welcome him.”
Former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan has tweeted welcoming Scindia to the party.
With Scindia firmly in the BJP saddle, events will unfold in Bhopal testing the stability of the Kamal Nath-led government in the state where the Congress has already begun attempts to woo back the MLAs who have left.
The BJP also cleared Harsh Chauhan of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram as the second nominee for the Rajya Sabha election, sources said.
Elections to the upper house will be held on March 26 for three Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in Madhya Pradesh. Currently, a candidate requires 57 votes in the 230-member assembly – two seats are vacant and the present strength is 228. If the resignation of the 22 MLAs is accepted, it will have an impact on the polls, in which the legislators cast their votes.
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