'He's Welcome Here': Scindia after Meeting Pilot on Campaign Trail in MP Ahead of Bypolls

File photo of BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.

File photo of BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Asked whether Sachin Pilot’s presence will make any difference in the bypolls, Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a democracy everyone has the right to campaign.

BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday said he met his former colleague and senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot in Gwalior and that he is welcome to the state to campaign for the November 3 by-elections. Pilot arrived in Madhya Pradesh for a two-day visit on Tuesday morning to campaign for Congress candidates in Gwalior, Shivpuri, Bhind and Morena districts of the state.

"I met him in Gwalior and welcomed him,” Scindia, who quit the Congress in March and joined the BJP, told PTI. Madhya Pradesh has the tradition of welcoming everyone on its soil, therefore he (Pilot) is also welcome here, said Scindia, the scion of the erstwhile Gwalior royal family.

Asked whether his (Pilot’s) presence will make any difference in the bypolls, Scindia said in a democracy everyone has the right to campaign. By-elections to 28 Assembly seats in the state are scheduled on November 3.

Meanwhile, Pilot hit out at the BJP-led Central government for the new farm laws that he said were introduced without consultation amid the coronavirus pandemic, claimed that it would end the minimum support price mechanism and harm farmers.

He said the three laws would end the work of mandis and leave those connected to these markets unemployed. Pilot hit out at the BJP for bringing such laws while publicly proclaiming it was working towards doubling farm income by 2022.

He said the NDA government, since 2014, had tried to end land acquisition laws brought in by the earlier Congress dispensations so that corporates can usurp farm plots. He added that the BJP had come to power in MP through the back door and its longevity will now be decided by the voters, something he referred to as the "beauty of democracy".

While refraining from attacking Scindia, the Rajasthan leader took a swipe at the BJP saying its old allies, like the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, had left the NDA fold due to "repression".

He was addressing rallies in Karera and Pohri Assembly seats here, both among 28 that will see bypolls on November 3. Twenty-five of these seats fell vacant after sitting Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP, leading to the collapse of the Kamal Nath-led state government. Most of these rebel Congress MLAs were considered close to Scindia.

Besides, three seats fell vacant due to the death of their sitting MLAs. To a question on his meeting with Pilot before the political crisis in Rajasthan a few months back, Scindia said he does not want to comment on the internal affairs of the Congress.

In July, Pilot and 18 other MLAs rebelled against the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan, leading to Pilot’s sacking as deputy chief minister and state party chief. Following his patch-up talks with senior Congress leaders, the political crisis was resolved after nearly a month.

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