scorecardThe Scindias: Moving seamlessly between parties in different elections on their home turf
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The Scindias: Moving seamlessly between parties in different elections on their home turf

The Scindias: Moving seamlessly between parties in different elections on their home turf
PoliticsPolitics3 min read
Bhopal, The Scindias, the influential members of the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior, have moved effortlessly between different political parties when it comes to fighting electoral battles on their home turf and Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia will carry forward this tradition when he files his nomination as the BJP candidate from the Guna Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh. Five years after losing unexpectedly from Guna as the Congress candidate, Jyotiraditya Scindia, representing the current generation of the family in MP's politics, is back in the fray in his backyard, but this time as the nominee of his erstwhile political rival and with a different election symbol against his name on the EVM.

The 53-year-old politician is the grandson of one of the BJP founders, Vijaya Raje Scindia, and son of former Union minister the late Madhavrao Scindia. The Guna Lok Sabha seat, part of the Scindias' home turf which also includes Gwalior, is spread across eight assembly seats in Guna, Shivpuri and Ashok Nagar districts.

The Congress, looking to settle scores with Jyotiraditya Scindia in the poll fray after it lost its government in Madhya Pradesh following his exit exactly four years ago, is yet to name its candidate from Guna.

It was a rare electoral shock for former Gwalior royals when the Union Minister for Civil Aviation faced defeat in 2019 at the hands of the BJP candidate and his old loyalist, KP Yadav, by a margin of around 1.26 Lakh votes.

In 2024, Scindia is again testing electoral waters, but under the banner of a different party - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - the political home to his parental aunts - former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and ex-MP minister Yashodhara Raje.

But the Guna Lok Sabha constituency's history suggested the Scindias have never fought their first and last elections from the same party.

The Union minister's grandmother, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia, contested her first election from the seat in 1957 on a Congress ticket and won. She contested as the Swatantra Party nominee in 1967 then from the BJP in 1989.

His father Madhavrao Scindia contested his first election from Guna on a Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) ticket in 1971 and fought his last poll in 1999 as the Congress nominee before his death in a plane crash near New Delhi in 2001. The BJS is considered the forerunner of the BJP.

Senior journalist, author and political analyst Rasheed Kidwai says the Scindias' political leanings seem to be settling down now.

"After decades of consciously choosing divergent political parties, the house of Scindias is finally settling down as per their past and ideological leanings. The Sangh, Hindutva and right-wing has always been Scindia flavour in the monarchical era," Kidwai noted.

The Guna parliamentary seat was represented by Rajmata Scindia for 6 times, while her son Madhavrao Scindia won it on four occasions.

Besides Guna, Rajmata Scindia represented the Gwalior Lok Sabha seat, part of the family turf, once. Madhavrao Scindia was elected five times from Gwalior, once as the candidate of the Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress, an outfit floated by him.

Rajmata Scindia's daughter Yashodhara Raje also represented the Gwalior seat in the Lok Sabha twice for the BJP.

Jyotiraditya Scindia has represented the Guna seat four times between 2002 and 2014, including after winning in a bypoll. A year after his defeat, he joined the BJP in March 2020 along with 22 Congress MLAs, leading to the collapse of the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh.

The defeat of Jyotiraditya Scindia in 2019 was the second setback for the Scindias in the Lok Sabha elections. In 1984, the Union minister's aunt and former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje had faced defeat as the BJP candidate from the Bhind Lok Sabha seat. She was defeated by Congress candidate Krishna Singh Judeo, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Datia.

The Guna Lok Sabha constituency has more than 18.80 lakh voters and it will go to polls in the third phase on May 7.