- After serving congress for 18 years, Jyotiraditya Scindia joined BJP
- Yashodhara Raje Scindia describes move as "ghar wapsi"
- Critics accused Mr Scindia's move as driven by self-interest
Jyotiraditya Scindia is set to join the BJP after a stunning exit from the Congress, his party of 18 years, following months of disenchantment with his leadership. His aunt Yashodhara Raje Scindia, a BJP MLA, describes his move as "ghar wapsi" and says there were reasons for the younger Scindia to take such a big step, one that was taken decades ago by the Scindia family matriarch, Vijayaraje Scindia.
"We are not mad. There are reasons people get up and take such a big step. He (Jyotiraditya Scindia) has taken a very big step," said Yashodhara Raje.
Jyotiraditya Scindia's big switch came to pass on the birth anniversary of his father Madhavrao Scindia, a senior Congress leader who died in a plane crash in 2001.
Barring Madhavrao Scindia, most of the politicians in the Scindia family are in the BJP, namely Yashodhara Raje and Vasundhara Raje, former Rajasthan Chief Minister.
"My mother (Vijayraje) was a tall maharani, respected by MLAs and people. She was forced to quit the Congress because of a leader Dwarka Prasad Mishra, who overruled her and did not give her respect," Yashodhara Raje told NDTV.
"She was very sad about it. Finally, she ended up leaving the Congress."
On Jyotiraditya Scindia's bitter exit from the Congress, Ms Raje said the signs were all there in "the visuals that we saw for the last so many months of my nephew within the Congress..." The connection, she said, had started breaking.
Mr Scindia, 49, has been accused by his critics of making a cynical move, driven by self-interest, at a time the Congress is perceived as a sinking ship.
"The BJP would not have taken him if they did not see value in him as a leader," Ms Raje shot back.
"How many people are not working with even one per cent self-interest in any party? Politics today is not the politics it was 50 years ago when it was all about nation-building...In the end, if a man feels he is capable of contributing to a party and has been in the party all his life...He was a senior leader, a minister," said the BJP leader of her nephew.
There is a problem with the Congress, Ms Raje remarked, referring to her family's choices.
Madhavrao Scindia once left the party to set up his own outfit. "When he came from England, he joined Jan Sangh but he left. My mother joined the Congress because Indira Gandhi asked her to. But she had a very rough time."
Asked whether Jyotiraditya Scindia could expect the same welcome from a BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, as opposed to the party's previous avatar, Ms Raje retorted: "The PM met him yesterday. Why? He chose to meet him, gave him time, and welcomed him. The Scindias are not that bad to deal with."