Jyotiraditya Scindia quits Cong, likely to join BJP
strap-22 MLAs loyal to him also resign
Peeved with his marginalization in the Congress, Scindia met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the former BJP president who continues to drive his party's political affairs, and then the two leaders went to the prime minister's residence where they held talks for over an hour.
New Delhi: Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress on Tuesday following a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is expected to join the BJP as the saffron party set in motion its plan to topple the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh to capture power there.
Soon after his meeting with Modi, the former Union minister tendered his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying it was now time for him to move on.
Scindia took the decision to sever his ties with the Congress on the day of his father Madhavrao Scindia's 75th birth anniversary.
He is likely to join the BJP in a couple of days, sources said. A source said Scindia may join either in Delhi or Bhopal along with his supporters,
Before joining the BJP, Scindia may also address a rally in his home turf Gwalior, they added. The Congress also announced his expulsion for "anti-party activities" as the crisis looming over the Madhya Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath deepened.
There was no official word on what transpired in Scindia's meeting with Modi but BJP sources asserted that the decision of the party's top two leaders to hold long deliberations with him, the scion of the erstwhile Gwalior royal family, with considerable influence in the region, underlined the importance they attach to him.
The two top BJP leaders gave final shape to the modalities of Scindia's expected entry into the party.
He is likely to be sent to Rajya Sabha, sources said, adding that he may get a berth in the Union cabinet if his revolt against the Congress leads to the fall of the Madhya Pradesh government, as the BJP expects.
The 49-year-old leader was long upset with the Congress as he believes that Nath and Digvijaya Singh, another party satrap in the State, we're working in tandem to marginalize him.
At least 22 Congress MLAs, many of whom loyal to him, have resigned to reduce the ruling Congress in the State to a minority.
While the Congress, which was voted to power in the state after 15 years in 2018, has 114 MLAs, the BJP has 107 legislators in the 230-member assembly.
Four Independent MLAs, two lawmakers of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one Samajwadi Party legislator are supporting the Congress-led government.
As many as 17 MLAs close to Scindia went incommunicado on Monday, with most of them believed to be camping in Bengaluru.
Election for three Rajya Sabha seats from the State is slated for March 26.
Both the Congress and the BJP are sure to win one seat each, and the changing dynamics in the State politics means that the saffron party may eye to win the third seat. The Scindia family is one of the most distinguished political dynasties in the country and Jyotiraditya Scindia's decision has snapped its decades-long ties with Congress.
His two aunts, Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje are already in the BJP with the former serving as the Rajasthan chief minister for 10 years.
His father Madhavrao Scindia had also started his political innings as an MP of the Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of the BJP, in 1971 but joined the Congress later.
His grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia had begun his political career as a Congress MP in 1957 and then joined the Swatantrata Party, now defunct before she moved to the Jana Sangh and emerged as a leading hardline ideologue of the party. Jyotiraditya Scindia had been representing Guna in Lok Sabha since 2002 after his father's death in a plane crash but lost the family's pocket borough in 2019 to his BJP rival.