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Assembly polls fail to perk up political fortunes of Scindias

Assembly polls fail to perk up political fortunes of Scindias
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For the Scindia dynasty, which once ruled the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior, the recentlyheld Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan...

Bhopal: For the Scindia dynasty, which once ruled the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior, the recently-held Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have failed to perk up their political fortunes.

It is nearly after two decades that no member of the Scindia family is holding any position of power either in the state or at the Centre.

While the Vasundhara Raje Scindia-led government was ousted by the Congress in Rajasthan in the recent elections, her nephew and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, narrowly missed the chance to become the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Jyotiraditya's another aunt, who was Sports and Youth Welfare minister in the erstwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet, lost her post as the BJP was ousted from power by the Congress in the state. However, she managed to retain her Shivpuri assembly seat.

Yashodhara, a stormy petrel, has a bumpy road ahead as she does not get along well with some senior BJP leaders of Gwalior and Chambal region, who are calling the shots in the saffron party right now, sources said.

In September this year, Yashodhara had left a BJP state executive meeting here in a huff, after she found that her mother, late Vijaya Raje Scindia's photograph was not put up at the meeting venue alongside those of the leaders of Jan Sangh and BJP like Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Kushabhau Thakre and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Vasundhara Raje became a junior External Affairs Minister in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cabinet in 1998. She later became minister with independent charge of small scale industries and agro and rural industries.

In December 2003, she became the chief minister of Rajasthan, the post which she held till December 2008, after which the Congress came to power.

However, Scindias' sway in politics did not end with Vasundhara's unseating as Jyotiraditya had become a Union minister by then. He was Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology from 2007 to 2009 during the UPA I.

During the UPA II, he worked as Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries besides Union Minister of State for Power between 2009 and 2014.

Before the BJP-led NDA trounced Manmohan Singh-led UPA government at the Centre, Vasundhara Raje once again became the chief minister of Rajasthan on December 8, 2013 and continued to helm the state till December 11, 2018.

However, this December, Jyotiraditya, the Lok Sabha MP from Guna seat in Madhya Pradesh and Congress's chief whip in Lok Sabha lost out on the chance to be among the youngest chief ministers of the central Indian state, as Kamal Nath, 72, was picked for the top job in the state.

Thirty years ago, Jyotiraditya's father late Madhavrao Scindia was denied the post of MP chief minister.

In 1989, Madhavrao Scindia was all set to be the CM, but strident opposition from senior leader Arjun Singh, who was asked to step down as CM after the Churhat lottery scam, ensured that then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi could not give the former Gwalior royal the coveted post.

Singh, in a bid to get his way at the time, had even kept his MLAs ensconced in the Char Imli residence of loyalist Harvansh Singh Thakur.

Madhavrao was so confident of being given the post that he had flown down from Delhi and camped in the state for two days. Instead, Motilal Vora was made the chief minister. Twenty nine years later, history repeated itself as the "so near yet so far" fate befell Madhavrao's son Jyotiraditya.

Congress sources said Jyotiraditya had pointed out to the party leadership that BJP's sloganduring the election campaign "Maaf karo Maharaj, apne toh Shivraj" was centred around him.

TheScindia family of Marathas had ruled the Gwalior state in pre-independent central-India.

Jyotiraditya's grandmother Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia commanded immense respect in the Sangh Parivar.

Following her footsteps, Madhavrao also joined the Jan Sangh.

In the 1971 Lok Sabha elections, the mother-son duo was among the few leaders who defied the Indira Gandhi wave and emerged victorious from their respective constituencies.

In 1980, Madhavrao joined Indira Gandhi's Congress, a party which had jailed his mother during the Emergency.

His sisters, Vasundhara and Yashodhara later followed their mother's footsteps and joined the BJP.

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