New Delhi: Jyotiraditya Scindia was apparently under the radar of the BJP after the Congress, under his leadership, had scripted a good show in the Gwalior-Chambal area in the 2018 assembly elections. the pocket borough of the Scindia family. Gwalior-Chambal area has for long been the pocket borough of the Scindia family.
The Congress' impressive performance in the area also meant that the BJP fared poorly there. Since then, sources say, BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been eyeing Scindia. He was also instrumental in inflicting a crushing defeat on Scindia by a rookie from Guna constituency in the last general election. Shah apparently wanted Scindia's position in the Congress weakened to make his way out an easier one.
Scindia joined the BJP on Wednesday after he resigned from the Congress along with 22 MLAs.
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, once a 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 was 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.
(With inputs from IANS)