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Jyotiraditya Scindia Welcomes Hardik in MP, Talks of Congress-BSP Alliance Gaining Ground

Lok Sabha elections may be scheduled for next year, but Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – the two biggest states in India by area – are heading to polls later this year.


Updated:March 22, 2018, 12:32 PM IST
Jyotiraditya Scindia Welcomes Hardik in MP, Talks of Congress-BSP Alliance Gaining Ground
File photo of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.

New Delhi: Lok Sabha elections may be scheduled for next year, but Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – the two biggest states in India by area – are heading to polls later this year.

After a string of losses in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is now in action mode.

Sachin Pilot is steering the ship in Rajasthan and Jyotiraditya Scindia is playing that role in Madhya Pradesh.

The Madhya Pradesh Congress leader, who has become Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s right-hand man in the state, spoke exclusively to News 18 Hindi. Scindia spoke about a range of issues, from the upcoming Assembly elections to a possible coalition with the Bahujan Samaj Party.

At Scindia’s bungalow in New Delhi, a picture of him with Sonia Gandhi hangs from the wall. In the picture, Scindia is sitting alongside Sonia Gandhi while senior leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh stand behind the duo. But do the two senior MP Congress leaders still stand resolutely behind the young Scindia? While Scindia does not deny that there were differences in the state unit of the Congress at one point, he insists those differences are ancient history.

“For me, Digvijaya Singh is a respected elder. I have always had a good relationship with him. We will come together and form the next government in Madhya Pradesh,” he said. Singh is currently on a ‘Narmada Parikrama’.

Speaking on Singh’s pilgrimage, Scindia said, “The decision to go on this Yatra was a personal one for him and I admire him for it. Only someone with steely resolve and willpower can undertake and complete such a Yatra. Once his yatra is complete, he will join us and help the Congress win the next election.”

Elections are a few months away, but Scindia claimed he is not taking anything for granted.

“We should not be satisfied with the Congress victory in the Kolaras and Mungaoli bypolls. We have eight months to prepare. I believe we should not count the months, but the days, left for the Assembly elections. There are 240 days left and each day is a golden opportunity for us. We have to set daily targets and complete them,” he said.

During the Gujarat Assembly Elections, the Congress was aided by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel. Since MP, too, has a large Patidar population, Patel is preparing to enter the fray in the neighboring state to campaign against the BJP.

Scindia said he welcomed Hardik Patel’s entry into MP. “We have good relations with Hardik. I welcome all like-minded people who fight against injustice. I have discussed this with him several times. The BJP conspired against Hardik and yet he mounted a tough fight against them.”

Hardik Patel is not the only one who may come to the Congress’s aid. Political circles in MP are abuzz with talks of a Congress-BSP alliance.

“Our doors are open. Everyone with a similar ideology should work together. However, we have not started any formal talks with any party,” he said.

Scindia has vowed not to wear a garland till he defeats Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan. When asked about his vow, Scindia took a dig at the CM. “The CM likes to wear a ‘haar’ (garland). So the people of Kolaras and Mungaoli have handed him a ‘haar’ (defeat).”

The Congress MP said his party would corner the state government on unemployment, farm distress, health and education. But will the Congress, like it did in Punjab, announce a CM candidate? And will it be Scindia, who has already emerged as the face of the campaign?

“The same formula does not fit everywhere. Whatever instruction the High Command gives us in that regard, I will follow it,” Scindia said.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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