Not Just Gwalior But Baroda Too: The Other Princely State Whose BJP Connection Is Being Recounted After Scindia’s Congress Exit
The Baroda link with the BJP is in limelight after Jyotiraditya Scindia left the Congress.
Jyotiraditya Scindia is married to Priyadarshini Raje Scindia.
According to this report, the royal family of Vadodara, formerly known as Baroda, from where his wife Priyadarshini comes, is understood to have good relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who fought his first Lok Sabha election from there.
In fact as this Economic Times report from 2014 shows, Shubhangini Raje, wife of the late Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, was one of the proposers when the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi officially filed his nomination papers from the constituency in April 2014.
In the last 24 hours, speculation has been rife that it was Shubhangini Raje who connected Jyotiraditya to the BJP leadership.
The same ET report from 2014 quotes Shubhangini Raje as saying that Narendra Modi “never shirks his responsibilities. As Gujarat’s CM, he visited Vadodara many times. He has been with us through the good and bad”.
Prime Minister Modi, on his part, had remarked that the Gaekwad family’s education policy had benefitted him as a child.
The Patrika report linked earlier too mentions Jyotiraditya's visits to Vadodara owing to family ties as contributing to his decision of moving out of Congress and towards the BJP.
On 9 March, Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from Congress in a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Early yesterday, the Congress expelled the leader who is a former Member of Parliament from Guna, Madhya Pradesh, for "anti party activities."
While the reaction from Congress has been on expected lines, the response from one of his aunts, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, who is a senior leader from Bharatiya Janata Party, was a blend of celebration, pride and happiness.
Yashodhara Raje Scindia called her nephew's move in the "interest of the nation". She welcomed his decision to resign from the Congress and referred to the bloodline and nation (before even his joining BJP — as speculations suggest).
She said that Rajmata's blood (Jyotiraditya) had taken a decision towards national interest. She added that it was time to walk together and to carve a new future for the nation.
Rajmata was a founding member of the Jan Sangh. She occupies a place of reverence among leaders of three generations of BJP.
Late Madhavrao Scindia's first victory from Guna was from the Jan Sangh.
Earlier in the day, she along with her sister and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia took to Twitter to pay tribute to their brother on his birth anniversary.
In another report, she described his meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "ghar wapsi" — homecoming in cultural terms.
She even mentioned how when late Madhavrao Scindia had contested from Gwalior, the BJP chose not to field anyone against him out of their respect for the leader.
Former Rajasthan chief miinister Vasundhara Raje Scindia wrote an emotional tribute to Madhavrao Scindia on Twitter.
Jyotiraditya's last fight as a Congress leader from Guna had ended in a disaster for him in 2019.
In 2018, there was speculation that he would be the ace runner for the post of chief minister after the ousting of Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.
His friction with senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh was a solid factor that drove him towards an exit from Congress.
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