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From Friends to Foes: The BJP Candidate Who Defeated Jyotiraditya Scindia in His Family Bastion

The defeat will singe the AICC general secretary for a long time as it was served by his old aide and a trusted lieutenant Dr Krishna Pal Singh Yadav.

Vivek Trivedi |

Updated:May 24, 2019, 10:34 PM IST
From Friends to Foes: The BJP Candidate Who Defeated Jyotiraditya Scindia in His Family Bastion
KP Yadav won with a margin of over one lakh votes.

Guna: As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) handed a surprising loss to the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, the biggest blow perhaps came in the form of Jyotiraditya Scindia’s defeat in his den –Guna, which his family has been winning since the independence.

The defeat definitely singed the AICC general secretary Scindia as it was served by his old aide and a trusted lieutenant Dr Krishna Pal Singh Yadav, who hails from Ashoknagar district.

Yadav had even worked as Scindia’s Member of Parliament-representative before he parted ways with the ‘Maharaja’ ahead of 2018 assembly polls over the denial of a ticket from Mungaoli.

Pictures of the friend-turns-foes have gone viral ever since Yadav was adjudged as the Lok Sabha poll winner on the seat. Yadav, an Ayurvedic physician by profession hails from Ashoknagar where his father Raghuveer Singh Yadav was a Congress leader and a four-time district panchayat president on four occasions.

Raghuveer Singh was also a close aide of the late Madhav Rao Scindia, Jyotiraditya’s father.

By virtue of this friendship, Yadav too had harboured a close bond with the Scindias since early on.

Yadav’s wife is the Zila Panchayat member in Ashoknagar.

In one of the pictures that’s been doing the rounds, Yadav is seen in front of the vehicle clicking a selfie with the ‘Maharaj’, as Scindia is addressed in Gwalior-Chambal region.

The second viral picture dates back to their childhood days at what seems to be the inauguration of a stadium in Guna. According to locals, at the time when the picture was taken, Scindia was studying in class XI while Yadav was in class VI.

Their association continued all the way till 2018 when Scindia reportedly asked Yadav to contest the by-poll from Mungaoli. Things, however, took an ugly turn after the party backtracked on their proposal asking Yadav to halt his electoral plans.

It is also believed that Yadav had once been reprimanded by Scindia following which a rift was created between the two. This is said to have led to their separation in January 2018.

Scindia’s wife, Priyadarshini Raje, who led his campaign in Guna since the AICC general secretary was busy tending to party affairs in UP (west), had downplayed Yadav’s candidature saying he was no match for the Congress stalwart.

Raje had even mocked Yadav after he filed his nomination saying, “Those who earlier lined up to click selfies with the ‘Maharaj’ are now BJP candidate.”

BJP’s decision to field Yadav in 2018 Assembly Polls 2018 had backfired as the Congress candidate ended up winning on the seat with a narrow margin of 2,000 votes. But, the saffron party took the defeat in its stride and meticulously cashed in on the anguish felt by Guna’s electorate against the Scindia family scion and once again fielded Yadav.

Scindia was perhaps aware that things were tough as he decided to bring BSP candidate Lokendra Singh Rajput in the Congress fold, a move which enraged BSP supremo Mayawati.

Many believe that the BJP and even Yadav hasn’t expected the result.

The candidate ended up polling 6,14,049 votes, while Scindia only managed 4,88,500 votes and lost out with a margin of 1,25,549 votes. This is the Scindia family’s first-ever defeat in Guna since the state of Madhya Pradesh came into being in 1957.

Although, it’s difficult to pin down the actual reason for Scindia’s loss, those from the Gwalior-Chambal region have postulated a host of justifications.

A Scindia loyalist squarely blamed his loss to a strong Modi wave, which even cemented Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s loss from Amethi.

When asked whether it was somewhat an outcome of Scindia’s ‘Maharaj’ image which he could never distance from, the loyalist said that the loss would perhaps push Scindia to become more grounded and more accessible for voters.

Another journalist from a vernacular daily in Bhopal said that the parliament constituency comprises 70% farmers and the Congress government hasn’t been able to explain the benefits of the loan waivers and why the money hasn’t been credited to the farmers’ accounts. “Shivraj Singh Chouhan's constant attacks on the loan waiver scheme kept the issue burning,” he added.

An old associate of Scindia, however, begged to differ saying that the ‘Maharaj’ better than his father and grandmother when it came to connecting with people. He also worked on a number of projects including the setting up of a medical college, engineering college, Navodaya School, stadium and others in the region.

“The water supply project was, however, remained stuck as the BJP government wasn’t willing to cooperate in 15 years,” he said adding that roads and also pointed to the roads dug up in the region due to various projects of the Center.

Scindia’s close associate, however, conceded to the ‘Maharaja’ image has stuck onto the Congress candidate as those who met him felt uncomfortable in expressing their concerns.

“He also could not get over his Maharaja image and could not gel with the public as much as his father late Madhav Rao Scindia used to,” he affirmed.

He, however, added that Scindia had always been eager to help out those who approached him for help and was always flooded with applicants.

Caste equations are also said to have help Yadav clinch a victory as there are over 2.5 lakh Yadav votes in Munagoli alone, and combined with the Gurjar vote Scindia didn’t hold a chance.

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