Don’t Believe in Dy CM’s Post: Scindia to The Quint After Bypolls
The BJP won maximum seats in the MP bypolls that were necessitated by Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit from the Congress.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the lion’s share of seats in the Madhya Pradesh bypolls, necessitated by 25 rebel Congress MLAs switching sides earlier this year following Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit, the leader seems to have strengthened his base within the party by securing a majority for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government in the House.
The switch by Scindia and his loyalists had brought the downfall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state.
In a conversation with The Quint’s Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia, Scindia said that he is not here to play politics and doesn’t believe in the deputy chief minister’s post as a government must be run by one person.
“This was an incredible mandate by the people of Madhya Pradesh. All of us, as the party workers of the BJP, would like to thank the people of the state. The credit goes to the leadership of PM Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda’s ideology, and Amit Shah’s strategies,” he said.
Scindia also credited the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government for the victory in the seats and said that the state leadership accepted the rebel Congress MLAs, including him, wholeheartedly.
‘I Assure That the Promises of Vikas Will be Fulfilled’
Thanking the party cadre for mobilising support on ground, Scindia said that some leaders, including three ministers who lost, must have dignity in defeat.
“The credit also goes to the cadre which worked tooth and nail right from the polling booths to the the mandals as if they themselves were contesting,” he said.
“I assure you that the promise of ‘vikas’ and development that we have made will be fulfilled,” Scindia said.
Asked about the ministers that had lost the election, Scindia said that such things happen in polling and there should be dignity in defeat as there is in victory.
‘Every Seat Was Important to Me’
Speaking of the strategy that led to the victory in the bypolls, Scindia said: “If you see the previous election, the BJP had one percent more votes than the Congress overall in the state. But in the Gwalior-Chambal region, the Congress had 14 percent more votes than the BJP. The Congress had won 26 of the 34 seats in that region based on those votes and the Congress came to power in the state. So we had to start converting those 14 percent votes to zero for the Congress and then take them to the 'positive territory'. These bypoll results are an outcome of that effort,” he said.
“Every seat was important to me. I campaigned extensively for every seat. The 22 MLAs that switched sides with me came from the entire state. They were from the Gwalior-Chambal region, Bhopal division, Malwa division, and many ministers and MLAs registered a historic win. We won by margins of 65,00 votes and 55,00 votes at some places, which normally doesn’t happen in MP,” Scindia added.
‘My Ideology Hasn’t Changed’
Asked about facing new challenges in the BJP, which is an arch rival of Congress, which he was a part of for years, Scindia said that his ideology of serving the people still remains the same.
“My ideology is the same that has been for the past 20 years. I am a workaholic by nature. My family members complain that I generate work for myself even when there isn't. The election is over but that does not mean the work is. We have to start everything fresh once the government gives us a mandate,” he said.
He further said that he will thank each party worker personally in all the constituencies and then discuss the future strategies of development with CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
‘Not Here to Do Politics; Don’t Believe in Deputy CM’s Post’
Speaking of his future ambitions as a politician in the BJP, Scindia said that he is in politics only to be able to serve people.
“I consider myself an ordinary party worker. I don’t aim to play politics, I aim to serve the people. Politics for me is merely a way of serving the people,” he said.
He further said he is here to serve all the people and not just those from his city, state, or constituency.
The speculation of Scindia being offered the Deputy CM’s post in Madhya Pradesh has be rife ever since he joined the BJP earlier this year. Clearing the air around the matter, he said that he has never believed in that post and that a government must be run by only one person.
“I have always believed that a car must have only one driver. The Congress, too, had offered to me this post (Deputy CM of Madhya Pradesh) but I had respectfully declined. There’s a saying, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’. If there are two drivers in a car, it leads to an accident,” he said.
“I am in service of the people and I knew how Kamal Nath is going to work in his government, so I can honestly tell you that I did not want to have any connections with it,” he added.
‘Scindias Have Always Been Associated With the BJP’
Speaking of how comfortable a switch to the BJP was, considering he spent so many years with the Congress, he said that the Scindias have been associated with the BJP for three generations.
“The situation for me has been different. In a way, the BJP has always been like my own party. The Scindias have been associated with the BJP foe three generations. My grandmother has had a huge contribution in the politics of the BJP. My father began his political career with the Jan Sangh. My relations with the BJP have always been there despite me being in another party. So there has not been an 'insider-outsider' factor with me,” he said.
“It’s not a ‘ghar wapsi’ (homecoming) for me. The party has been like my ghar (home),” Scindia said.
He added that there are challenges in a transition but thanked CM Shivraj Singh and the state leadership for wholeheartedly accepting him and the other rebel Congress MLAs who switched to the BJP.
‘Massive Disconnect Between Congress Party and the People’
Scindia said that he maintained the dignity of silence by not speaking much against the Congress ever since he quit the party, but highlighted that the party needs to sort its house.
“I don't live my life in the past. I believe in the present and the future. The Congress is a part of my past now,” he said.
“I have maintained a dignity of silence for the past eight months. The Congress party has to take care of its own challenges and its SWOT analysis. The management of their house and the termites within have to be taken care of by them. I am a worker of the BJP and I am determined to work for it. But I would like to add that there is a massive disconnect between the people of the country and the Congress,” Scindia said.
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