As the BJP zoomed ahead of the Congress in the Madhya Pradesh election trends, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia responded to a jab taken by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at his height. Responding to NDTV’s question on the BJP’s stellar show in the Gwalior Malwa region, seen as his area of influence, Scindia said, “Someone had spoken about my height. The people of Gwalior-Malwa have shown how tall they are.”
At a rally in Datia last month, Ms Gandhi Vadra had hit out at Scindia, her friend-turned-rival, branding him a “traitor” who “betrayed” the mandate of the people. “All of their (the BJP’s) leaders are a little weird. First our Scindia… I have worked with him in UP, Actually, his height is a little short but in arrogance, ‘waah bhai waah'”.
“Any worker who used to go to him, said, ‘We have to call him Maharaj and if we don’t say that, our issues will not get addressed’. He followed his family’s tradition well. Many have betrayed, but they betrayed the public of Gwalior and Chamba… He made the government fall,” she said, in an apparent reference to the Scindia royal family siding with the British during the 1857 rebellion.
It was a mutiny led by Scindia in 2020 that toppled the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh and brought the BJP back to power. The erstwhile royal scion has seen become a Rajya Sabha member and the Union Minister for civil aviation in the Narendra Modi government.
This election was being considered a test for Mr Scindia and whether his influence in the Gwalior region helps the BJP. As the results showed, they have.
Speaking to NDTV, Scindia said he was confident of a BJP victory in the state. “I had said the BJP will win. I want to thank Madhya Pradesh voters who have given us this big majority. Prime Minister Modi’s leadership worked and so did the guidance of (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah and (BJP president) JP Nadda,” he said.
Scindia also credited incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with bringing pro-people welfare schemes that reached every doorstep and helped the party clinch this victory.
Scindia said he had been constantly abused by Congress leaders in the course of their campaign. “I embraced all the curses directed at me for the last three years. I did not answer back,” he said.
With inputs from NDTV