Friday, June 05, 2020

Election

How Kamal Nath was outwitted and Scindia lured to BJP fold

March 11, 2020 03:59 PM

NEW DELHI:Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is in the eye of a storm after he resigned from the Congress along with 22 MLAs, had scripted a good show in the Gwalior-Chambal area, the pocket borough of the Scindia family, in the last assembly elections.
A good showing in the Gwalior-Chambal area also meant that the BJP fared poorly in the area. Sources say it is since then that BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been eyeing Scindia and was in fact instrumental in inflicting a crushing defeat on Scindia by a rookie from Guna constituency in the last general election.

A senior Congress leader told IANS that Amit Shah was keen to pitch Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut from Guna to defeat Scindia but Ranaut pulled back at the last minute. Later Shah put K.P. Yadav, a one time Scindia loyalist, against him who inflicted a humiliating defeat on Scindia in the 2019 elections from Guna, by a margin of over one lakh votes.

Just six months back, former MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Narendra Singh Tomar had told Amit Shah that Scindia is feeling suffocated in the Congress due to Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh who according to Scindia are bent upon finishing his political career. Shah then asked Chouhan and Tomar to send feelers to Scindia.

The matter came to a boiling point when Scindia was denied the first Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh and the BJP sensed the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot.

As per the sequence of events, Shivraj Singh Chouhan first met Scindia and gave him assurances that his self respect and interests will be protected. Shivraj also had Scindia talk to Amit Shah during that very meeting. Shah also assured Scindia of protecting his interests and told him to start speaking to MLAs loyal to him.

Amit Shah then entrusted 'Operation Scindia' to Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Narendra Tomar and Dharmendra Pradhan. Hailing from the same region, Tomar's politics has been anti-Scindia for long but Shah stressed upon the bigger picture of 'capturing Madhya Pradesh'.

All the four trusted Shah lieutenants kept meeting Scindia from time to time. For the last one week, Chouhan has been camping in Delhi and instead of staying at MP Bhawan, he put up at Haryana Bhawan to dodge the media. Scindia and Chouhan kept meeting at different locations in Delhi and Gurugram to keep it a top secret.

Their first strike took place in Gurugram a few days ago where MLAs close to Scindia were put up there. But the Congress foiled the bid as it got wind of the rebellion in the nick of time with Digvijaya Singh.

However, this foiled bid could not delay for more than a week the political drama that unfolded on Tuesday when Scindia along with Amit Shah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and minutes later announced his decision and sent his loyal MLAs to Bengaluru after giving them assurances that they will be 'rewarded' for breaking away from the Congress.

To keep it secret, ordinary party workers were sent to meet the Scindia loyalist MLAs. Scindia also took advantage of the fact that Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath believed that the situation had been brought under control and the government will have no problem at least for a few months.


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