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There are some Scindias in BJP, some BJP in Scindias

Will Jyotiraditya Scindia fulfil his grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia’s dream of his joining BJP — the party she had founded and nurtured along with the members of Jana Sangh?

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2020, 11.20 AM IST
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Jyotiraditya Scindia
(This story originally appeared in on Mar 10, 2020)
BHOPAL: Will Jyotiraditya Scindia fulfil his grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia’s dream of his joining BJP — the party she had founded and nurtured along with the members of Jana Sangh?

Vijayaraje, from the family that once ruled Gwalior, joined electoral politics in 1957 as a Congress member and won the Guna Lok Sabha seat, but switched to Jana Sangh in 1967. She played a significant role in nurturing the saffron citadel in the Gwalior region and in 1971, Jana Sangh defied the Indira-wave and won three seats — Vijayaraje from Bhind, Atal Bihari Vajpayee from Gwalior, and Vijayaraje’s son Madhavrao Scindia from Guna.

The Scindia family plunged headlong into state politics and Madhavrao Scindia became an LS MP at the age of 26. But the saffron love didn’t last long for him, and he chose to part ways with Jana Sangh and his mother after the Emergency in 1977. In the 1980 polls, he switched allegiance to Congress and won from Guna a third time, and served as Union minister in Congress regime. His son Jyotiraditya carried on with his legacy.

In the meantime, Vijayaraje’s daughters Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje also entered politics. In 1984, Vasundhara joined as a member of the BJP national executive. She was also elected to the 8th Rajasthan assembly from Dholpur. Vasundhara’s son Dushyant is a BJP MP from Jhalawar in Rajasthan.

Yashodhara moved to New Orleans, USA, in 1977 after marrying Sidharth Bhansali, a cardiologist. She has three children, none of whom joined politics. Yashodhara returned to India in 1994 and went into formal politics by contesting the 1998 MP state poll as a BJP member. A five-time MLA, she was a minister in the erstwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

Jyotiraditya stayed in Congress. After his father’s death in a plane crash in 2001, Guna LS seat fell vacant. Jyotiraditya contested the bypoll in 2002 and won by a record margin of 4.5 lakh votes. He won next three LS polls from Guna but suffered a shock defeat in 2019 at the hands of his long-time aide Krishna Pal Singh Yadav.

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