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Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP, says there is ‘denial of reality’ in Congress

Minutes after formally inducting him, the BJP announced that Jyotiraditya Scindia will be among the two nominees of the saffron party for the Rajya Sabha polls from Madhya Pradesh.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 11, 2020 8:22:43 pm
Ex-Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP in presence of J P Nadda Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP in presence of its party president J P Nadda. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

A day after severing his ties with the Congress, four-time MP and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday joined the BJP in presence of party chief JP Nadda. Lashing out at his previous organisation, Scindia said that the party is not the same as it used to be and is far removed from reality.

“I would like to thank JP Nadda ji, PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah that they invited me to their family and gave me a place in it,” Scindia told media minutes after being inducted into the BJP. He further said that the country’s future is totally secure in PM Modi’s hands.

In a veiled attack on the Kamal Nath-led Congress government, Scindia also said, “the dream we saw for Madhya Pradesh has been shattered in 18 months.”

READ | ‘Good to be on same team’: Aunt Vasundhara Raje welcomes Scindia to BJP

Minutes after the press conference, the BJP announced that Scindia along with Harsh Chauhan of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram will be its two nominees for the Rajya Sabha polls from Madhya Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Scindia had walked out of Congress along with 22 state legislators, pushing the Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh on the brink of collapse. He had posted his resignation letter on Twitter minutes after meeting PM Modi along with Shah.

Scindia was associated with the Congress for 18 years. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

According to sources in the BJP, Shah played a pivotal role in Scindia’s departure from Congress. Shah, who handed over party’s reins to Nadda earlier this year, has been in discussions with Scindia, who was miffed with the Congress leadership for sidelining him. While Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan was tasked with conducting negotiations, Narendra Singh Tomar was put in charge of mustering the numbers to topple the Kamal Nath government.

READ | Eight months ago, Scindia said: ‘BJP tries to grab power through back door’

Scindia’s charisma and family legacy could help the BJP consolidate its support base in the Gwalior-Chambal region, where the Congress still has some stronghold constituencies. Interestingly, his father Madhavrao Scindia was part of a rebellion in 1996 and had floated a separate political outfit called Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress, which was part of the third front government in 1996. However, he returned to the Congress fold later.

Explained: Scindia latest in string of exits, Cong fear more will join queue

However, the Madhya Pradesh Congress, left on the edge, put up a brave face and expressed confidence in the Kamal Nath-led government and said it “will survive” because it “has the numbers”.

The Madhya Pradesh government has a wafer-thin majority in 230-membered House. It has 114 Congress legislators and the support of four Independents, two BSP MLAs and one SP MLA. The BJP, meanwhile, has 107 members. However, the resignations Tuesday of 22 Congress MLAs have reduced the party’s strength to 92, and the government’s support to 99. It also brings down the majority needed in the assembly to form a government to 104, well within the reach of the BJP.

The BJP and the Congress have moved their MLAs out of Madhya Pradesh amid the crisis. While Congress will likely shift its 92 MLAs to Jaipur, the saffron party has put up its leaders in Gurgoan, news agency PTI reported.

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