Even though views remain divided over who or what engineered the crisis in Madhya Pradesh and what would be the fallout of it, there is one issue on which there is unanimity across the political spectrum. And that relates to who exactly is at the centre of the controversy – and by extension the cynosure of all eyes – in the central India state.
With Jyotiraditya Scindia being the undisputed answer, it would be worthwhile to explore the young man’s journey thus far.
Born to a royal couple, namely, Madhavrao Scindia and Madhavi Raje Sahib Scindia, the young Jyotiraditya went to Doon School, Dehradun before graduating in Economics from Harvard in 1993. In 2001, he completed his MBA from Stanford University.
That also was the year in which his father died in a plane crash. Following the senior Scindia’s demise, the junior was called upon to step into the shoes of his father. In February of 2002, he emerged victorious in the bypoll to Guna, the constituency represented by his father, by a huge margin.
And since then, there has been no turning back for the young politician who got inducted into the Manmohan Singh ministry as a Minister of State (MoS) for Communications and Information Technology in 2007. On getting re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009, he was made MoS in the Commerce and Industry ministry.
He returned to the Lower House of Parliament in 2014, though his party lost power. He was defeated in 2019 by Krishna Pal Singh Yadav of the BJP.
His travails began in November 2018, when his party stormed to power in the state after 15 years, though by a whisker. First, he lost the chief ministerial race to Kamal Nath despite having played a stellar role in the party’s victory. Secondly, he was not appointed the president of the state unit reportedly at the instance of Kamal Nath.
Since then, the hostility between the chief minister and himself has only worsened. His defeat in 2019 from his home constituency further hardened his attitude towards Kamal Nath.
He openly threatened to launch an agitation against the state government if the promises made in the manifesto was not fulfilled.
Scindia was also among the few Congress leaders who voiced his support to Modi government’s abrogation of Article 370.
The fact that all is not well between him and the party became apparent when he changed his twitter profile in late 2019 when he removed his Congress connection from the bio.
And the tussle reached a point of no return when it was rumoured that he wouldn’t be fielded in the Rajya Sabha polls, scheduled for March 26, while Digvijay Singh was believed to get re-nominated. There was also the clamour from a section of the Congress that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra be nominated from the state.
While three seats fall vacant in the state, the Congress is expected to romp home in two seats if one were to go by the current arithmetic in the assembly.
This development turned out to be the spark that ignited a rebellion which has now precipitated into a crisis that is all set to bring down the Kamal Nath government.
By the way, the day on which Scindia chose to cut his ties with the Congress and embrace the BJP also happens to be the birthday of his late father. Is it a mere coincidence?