Was offered deputy CM’s post by Congress leadership, turned it down: Jyotiraditya Scindia

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Updated: Aug 24, 2020 12:00 PM

Jyotiraditya Scindia has revealed that he turned down an offer of the the deputy CM's post after Congress' win in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections in 2018.

Jyotiraditya Scindia says he declined Congress leadership offer of deputy CM post in Madhya Pradesh in 2018.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has revealed that he was offered the deputy CM’s post after Congress’ win in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections in December 2018. Scindia, however, said that he turned down the offer which was extended to him by the party leadership and chose to work for the people. Scindia was in the Congress party when Congress had dethroned the BJP from the state.

Following the Congress’ win in the Assembly polls, the Congress leadership faced twin challenges to select a leader to head the government and amicably settle the differences among the three factions led by Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Scindia was then a Lok Sabha MP from Guna and wanted to become the CM. However, the Congress leadership picked up MPCC chief Kamal Nath to lead the government.

“The Congress’s top leadership had offered me deputy chief minister’s post. Instead, I decided to work for the people,” Scindia, now a BJP Rajya Sabha MP, said while addressing the party’s three-day long membership drive on Sunday.

This is the first time that Scindia has publicly admitted that he was offered a post in the Congress government by the party’s central leadership. Earlier in March, former CM and veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had said that Jyotiraditya Scindia was offered the deputy CM post, but Kamal Nath had refused to accept a “chela”.

Scindia also lashed out at the Congress’ 15-month regime in Madhya Pradesh and said that the government betrayed the people of the state with false promises to come to power.

“I understood that Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh will ruin the Congress government in 15 months. The Congress betrayed the people with false promises like waiver of farm loan in 10 days in order to come to power in the state. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had promised that farm loans of up to to Rs 2 lakh will be waived within 10 days or else the chief minister will be sent back on the eleventh day,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has launched a membership drive in the state ahead of the bypolls to the 27 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh. Majority of the seats fall in Gwalior-Chambal which is considered Scindia’s stronghold. As many as 16 of the 27 seats fall in this region.

Twenty-two rebel Congress MLAs from the Scindia camp had resigned in March, reducing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to a minority. This paved the way for BJP’s return to power in the landlocked state. Scindia was then elected to the Rajya Sabha from the BJP quota and the MLAs later joined the BJP. Many of Scindia loyalists got important portfolios in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet.

Later, three more Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP, taking their number to 25. The remaining two assembly seats had fallen vacant due to the demise of MLAs.

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