Why is it that some members of the Scindia family are with BJP and some others with the Congress?
Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is one of the top claimants for the chief ministerial post in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress MP from Guna constituency enjoys massive popularity in Gwalior-Chambal region of the state where his father and forefathers ruled as kings for ages. Scindia is the last scion of the royal Scindia family of Marathas which ruled the Gwalior state of pre-independent central-India. The other members of the Scindia royales are also into politics and hold significant positions.
While Scindia is a top Congress leader and is eyeing the chief minister’s post, his aunt, Vasundhara Raje Scindia has been a two-time chief minister of Rajasthan. Yashodhara Raje, the other aunt of Scindia, is a minister in the outgoing Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet.
So why is it that some members of the Scindia family are with BJP and some others with the Congress?
Scindia’s grandmother and Queen of the Gwalior state ‘Rajmata’ Vijaya Raje Scindia was one of the founding members of the Jana Sangh. Vijaya Raje had started her career in 1957 when she was elected as an MP from Guna on a Congress ticket. She later rebelled against the Congress and founded Jan Sangh along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and a number of prominent BJP leaders. Following his mother, Madhav Rao also joined the Jana Sangh. In 1971 Lok Sabha elections, the mother-son duo was one of the few leaders who were able to defy the Indira Gandhi wave and emerged victorious from their respective constituencies.
In 1980, Madhav Rao Scindia decided to switch sides and join Indira Gandhi’s Congress, a party which had jailed his mother Vijaya Raje during emergency-era. Madhav Rao shared a troubled equation with his mother. Later, property disputes and association with a political party which was opposed by his Vijaya Raje throughout her life further strained ties between the mother and son. However, unlike Madhav Rao, his two sisters, Vasundhara and Yashodhara followed their mother’s footsteps and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Madhav Rao held the distinction of remaining an undefeated Parliamentarian throughout his life, while Vasudhara Raje went on to become the chief minister of Rajasthan.
Madhav Rao suffered an untimely accidental death in 2002, which forced his son Jyotiraditya, 29-year-old at that time, contest by-elections from Guna in 2002. Since then, Jyotiraditya has been elected as an MP thrice – in 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections. The Scindia dynast had been a MoS (Independent Charge) Power and is eyeing the chief minister’s post today.