'Fortunate to be part of BJP': Jyotiraditya Scindia pledges support to saffron party, Rahul Gandhi says ex-Guna MP ignored his ideology
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who on Thursday received a rousing welcome from BJP workers in Bhopal a day after ending his alliance with the Congress and joining the saffron party, said that he considers himself fortunate that the BJP accepted him in the party and assured workers that he will work wholeheartedly for them.
While Scindia joined the BJP after tendering his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh will likely face a floor test on 16 March
The BJP in Madhya Pradesh will seek a floor test in the wake of 22 Congress MLAs resigning in the state, PTI reported
Speaking at the state BJP office on Thursday, Scindia also said the one thing he was bringing to the table was hard work
Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday received a rousing welcome from BJP workers in Bhopal a day after resigning from the Congress and joining the saffron party. The former Guna MP said that he considers himself fortunate that the BJP accepted him in the party and assured workers that he will work wholeheartedly for them.
While Scindia joined the BJP after tendering his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh will likely face a floor test on 16 March. The BJP in Madhya Pradesh will seek a floor test in the wake of 22 Congress MLAs resigning in the state, PTI reported. The MLAs are reportedly supporters of Scindia.
The 15-month-old Congress government has been facing a major crisis following the resignations. "Since the government is in a minority, we are going to request the governor and the Assembly speaker for a floor test on 16 March when the state budget session begins," BJP's chief whip in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Narottam Mishra told reporters.
"The governor and the speaker have the resignations of 22 MLAs. Now it is up to them to take a call," he said.
"This government has lost its majority," senior BJP leader former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said. The Congress has a wafer thin majority in the 228-member Assembly. Before the rebellion, its tally was 114.
Feeling fortunate to join BJP, says Scindia
Speaking at the state BJP office, Scindia said the one thing he was bringing to the table was hard work. "I am feeling fortunate to join the BJP. Party president JP Nadda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah opened the doors of this party for me. I have brought only one thing with me (to BJP) and that is my hard work," Scindia said.
"The organisation and family in which I have spent 20 years, the organisation where I have put my hard work and efforts, I am leaving all that behind and handing myself over to you," said Scindia, who joined the BJP on Wednesday. "It is a very emotional day for me today. I consider myself fortunate that this family (BJP) opened the doors for me," he added.
Scindia said he joined the BJP "by leaving everything and came with only a full heart. Chouhan was present to welcome Scindia at the party office.
Lauding Chouhan, Scindia said, "There are only two leaders in the state who never use air-conditioner in our vehicles...Chouhan and me. Scindia said when he raised issues like injustice to farmers falsely accused in the Mandsaur firing case, he was asked (by Congress) to take to the streets.
"When Scindia family is challenged then it won't remain silent," he said. Scindia said his only aim is to make a place in the heart of each and every BJP worker.
Welcoming Scindia, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured him that he will not have any complaints with the large BJP family. Chouhan said, "We had a direct fight with Scindia ji, but someone else took the post (of chief minister).
Taunting Nath for organising IIFA ceremony, Chouhan said the government has no money for farmers but enough funds for the Bollywood event. Scindia arrived at the state BJP headquarters to a grand welcome by the saffron party leaders amid bursting of crackers.
After reaching the BJP office Deendayal Parisar in posh Arera Colony in a rally from the airport, Scindia garlanded busts of his grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia, Deendayal Upadhyay and former BJP president Kushabhau Thakre.
Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted a welcome to Scindia, saying that his induction will "strengthen the resolve" of BJP in Madhya Pradesh.
Met Shri @JM_Scindia ji.
I am sure his induction into the party will further strengthen BJP’s resolve to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh. pic.twitter.com/jrxAAWrjyl
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 12, 2020
Scindia ignored his ideology, says Rahul Gandhi
On the other hand, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, of whom Scindia was considered a close confidant, said that the former Guna MP had ignored his ideology and decided to go with the RSS as he feared for his political future, asserting that "his old friend" will neither get respect in the BJP, nor will he be satisfied.
Speaking candidly on Scindia's shock move to the BJP after being in the Congress for years, Gandhi recalled his long association with Scindia and said there is a difference between what is in his heart and what he is saying.
While some senior leaders like Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot have been scathing in their criticism of Scindia, Rahul's response to his quitting the Congress was tempered.
"I know the ideology of Jyotiraditya Scindia ji, he was with me in college. I would keep talking to him, I know him well. Jyotiraditya Scindia feared for his political future and therefore kept his ideology in his pocket and went with the RSS," Gandhi said.
"But the reality is that neither will he get respect there, nor will the truth and emotion in his heart be satisfied. He will come to realise it," he said, adding that he has an old friendship with Scindia.
A day after quitting the Congress, Scindia joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday in the presence of its president Nadda and slammed his former party for "denying reality" and "not acknowledging" new thoughts and new leadership.
On Scindia's move to the BJP, Rahul said, "This is a clear cut fight of ideologies. On one side is the Congress party's ideology, on the other hand is the RSS-BJP ideology".
Congress workers targeted Scindia on Thursday, with a protest against him in front of the Gandhi Bhawan in Indore. Emotions ran high with party workers displaying placards with 'Sharam Karo Maharaj' (have shame Maharaj) message and "traitor" written on them during the protest.
In the midst of the developments, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh filed his nomination for the 26 March Rajya Sabha election.
Singh reached the state Assembly secretariat around 12.30 pm and submitted his papers to the returning officer and Vidhan Sabha principal secretary AP Singh.
He thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for reposing faith in him and nominating him for a second term in the Upper House of Parliament.
Three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh, currently held by Digvijaya Singh, and BJP leaders Prabhat Jha and Satyanarayan Jatiya, are falling vacant next month.
The Congress has re-nominated Singh, while the BJP has named former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the saffron party on Wednesday, as its Rajya Sabha poll nominee from Madhya Pradesh.
With inputs from agencies
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