Scindia had joined the electioneering in Guna barely three weeks before the polling day.
Bhopal: The plot to end the electoral invincibility of erstwhile Gwalior royal family by ensuring defeat of its scion Jyotiraditya Scindia in the Guna Lok Sabha constituency was scripted by the BJP nearly four years ago.
BJP national vice-president Prabhat Jha was assigned the challenging task of doing the spadework to expand base of the party in Guna by generating awareness among the people of their right to the basic amenities.
The constituency was held by Gwalior royal family members, Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia (first as a Congress member), her son late Madhav Rao Scindia and then Jyotiraditya Scindia, for 52 out of 67 years of its existence.
“As per the strategy, I adopted Guna LS seat as a Rajya Sabha member in 2015. I had then started visiting remote villages in the constituency. I have visited no fewer than 500 villages since then interacting with the locals to acquaint myself with their problems. I have addressed no fewer than 1,000 public meetings awakening the locals of their right to the basic amenities,” Mr Jha, known to be a bitter critic of Mr Scindia, recounted on Wednesday.
He had also mobilised party workers by instilling in them the confidence to stand up to the “mighty Mr Scindia” and end decades-long electoral hegemony of the Scindia family over their erstwhile kingdom of Gwalior, comprising Guna.
“In every public meeting held by me in villages in Guna, I had urged the people to ponder over lack of basic amenities such as hospitals in their areas for the last seven decades before deciding their voting choice,” he recalled narrating how his party had played as per its script to woo people away from ‘their Maharaja’, as Mr Scindia has been addressed by people in rural Guna.
The spadework by him had laid the base for defeat of Mr Scindia in Guna in 2019 LS polls, the first member of Gwalior royal family to suffer loss in elections.
Later, a “godsend opportunity” came in way of BJP when K.P. Yadav, a trusted lieutenant of Mr Scindia and his key poll manager for last 15 years, offered to join BJP one and a half years ago after he was “let down” by Mr Scindia by denying him Congress ticket for Mungaoli Assembly constituency, by-elections to which was held in 2017.
He had begun preparations for the 2019 LS elections in the constituency quietly around one and a half years ago following the go-ahead given by the BJP and by the time, Mr Scindia learnt about erosion of his base in Guna, it was too late, a spokesman of BJP here revealed.
Curiously, Mr Scindia was kept out of his constituency for most of the time in the run-up to the May 12 elections in Guna, when he was appointed AICC general secretary in-charge of parliamentary elections in Uttar Pradesh (west) in January.
His wife Priyadarshiniraje Scindia had taken over charge of campaigning for him during his absence. Mr Scindia had joined the electioneering in Guna barely three weeks before the polling day.
“I smell a conspiracy in Mr Scindia’s defeat,” state minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar, a Scindia loyalist, told the media later.
Mr Scindia’s camp suspected that a factional party leader in Madhya Pradesh was behind the conspiracy to keep him out of Guna during electioneering.
Mr Yadav’s selection as the BJP candidate for Guna had also paid rich dividends for the party.