BJP Names Jyotiraditya Scindia For Rajya Sabha Shortly After He Joins Party

The announcement followed moments after the 49-year-old four-time Lok Sabha MP joined the BJP.

BJP Names Jyotiraditya Scindia For Rajya Sabha Shortly After He Joins Party

Mr Scindia left the Congress, his party of 18 years, on Tuesday (File)

Highlights

  • Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress on Tuesday
  • He was with the Congress for 18 years
  • BJP has named him for Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh
New Delhi:

Jyotiraditya Scindia has been named by the BJP for one of the two Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh due for elections later this month. The announcement came shortly after the 49-year-old four-time Lok Sabha MP joined the BJP. 

Mr Scindia left the Congress, his party of 18 years, on Tuesday. Before announcing his resignation from the Congress on Twitter, he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

One of the reasons for his switch was said to be the promise of a Rajya Sabha nomination by the BJP, something that had proved to be a tough ask for him in the Congress.

Elections will be held on March 26 for three Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in Madhya Pradesh; the state has 11 seats in the upper house. Any change in the state government will have an impact on these polls, where voting is by MLAs. In this, with the votes of first preference, the Congress and BJP are fixed as one seat each and the fight is on for the third seat.

According to sources, the Congress refused to give Mr Scindia a first preference seat that would secure his nomination. 

Mr Scindia, a key Madhya Pradesh leader considered instrumental in the Congress's victory in the state election in December 2018, had to step back as Kamal Nath was made Chief Minister.

Over the past year, Mr Scindia, who also lost last year's parliamentary election, felt slighted and undermined in the Congress.

Sources say a Rajya Sabha nomination for him was strongly opposed by Kamal Nath. By the time he came around, Mr Scindia's talks with the BJP leadership, especially Amit Shah, had gone far.

The BJP sensed an opportunity to pull in Mr Scindia when he was denied a Rajya Sabha seat by the Congress, according to sources. That was the time he received the first feelers from the BJP.

There were several secret meetings over the next few months, according to sources.

Mr Scindia was 31 when he was first elected to parliament from Guna in Madhya Pradesh in 2002, as he won a by-election held following his father Madhavrao Scindia's death. 

He subsequently served as union minister in different Congress governments.

"Scindia could have been Congress nominee to Rajya Sabha but only Modi-Shah can give cabinet post to the over-ambitious leader," said Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, one of Mr Scindia's rivals.