In his 18-year-long political career, Jyotiraditya Scindia has rarely ever had it this difficult. As a politician accustomed to being publicly hailed by followers, colleagues and even rivals with epithets such as Shrimant and Maharaj, the ongoing bypoll campaign for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh must come as a rude jolt for Scindia.
The man who brought down the Kamal Nath government in the state back in March when he walked out of the Congress party along with 22 legislators has earned a new set of titles in these past seven months. From gaddar, be-imaan and bhu mafia and Shri-ant (the Congress party’s pun on Scindia’s preferred title of Shrimant); the Gwalior royal is being derided by colleagues of his former party wherever he goes to campaign for the BJP’s candidates. Worse, members of his new party, particularly those from the Gwalior-Chambal region, have made no effort to come to Scindia’s defence even as these new monikers have begun to catch on with the public at large.
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Meanwhile, the social media team of the Congress party’s MP unit is having a field day mocking their former frontline leader who Rahul Gandhi had, in March, described as the “only guy who could walk into my home anytime”. Not a day goes by without the Congress circulating a fresh meme of Scindia or alluding to his treachery against the party that his father, the late Madhavrao Scindia had loyally served for decades.
Scindia is not a candidate in the by-polls scheduled for November 3 but it is evident that Congress has identified him as the main target of its broadside. As many as 16 of the 28 bypoll-bound seats fall in the Gwalior-Chambal belt of MP; the so-called political fiefdom of Scindia. The Congress now taunts legislators who had defected to the BJP at Scindia’s behest with the title of ‘Jaichand’, the 12th-century Rajput ruler whose name is synonymous with treachery on account of his betrayal of Prithviraj Chauhan as recounted in the medieval text Prithviraj Raso. However, it is Scindia’s perfidy that takes center stage at every Congress rally by Kamal Nath or other party leaders.
The Gwalior royal too hasn’t made things easier for himself. Though always a very animated speaker, Scindia seems to have developed a penchant for going overboard with his theatrics at rallies and public meetings while attacking Nath or Digvijaya Singh. This has led to the unintended result of people mocking Scindia’s desperation to prove his worth to the BJP and has provided the Congress an unending supply of content for more memes targeting the recently elected Rajya Sabha MP.
à¤¬à¥ÂÂÂà¤² à¤à¥ÂÂÂà¤²à¥ÂÂÂ à¤¬à¥ÂÂÂà¤² à¤¤à¥ÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂà¥ÂÂÂ à¤ÂÂÂà¥ÂÂÂà¤¯à¤¾ à¤ÂÂÂà¤¾à¤¹à¤¿à¤¯à¥ÂÂÂ....?? pic.twitter.com/RlSrelGeiE— Shilpa Bodkhe INC (@BodkheShilpa) October 10, 2020
And perhaps the frustration of it all is now finally getting to the Gwalior royal. Earlier this week a video of Scindia went viral. Apparently while touring one of the bypoll-bound constituencies, the only member of the Scindia clan to ever lose an election – and that too by a massive margin of over 1.25 lakh votes – stopped to instruct the people how they must vote on November 3. The former MP from Guna, who the BJP recently placed at No. 10 of its 30-star campaigners for the bypolls, asked the few people listening to “spread the word” in their village that this was “a vote for Maharaja Scindia”.
Presenting.. the clown of #2020 pic.twitter.com/aCuudH1Ut6— IIIIIIIIII (@_NairFYI) October 11, 2020
Scindia may not have any control over what his political rivals or even the general public may say about him but perhaps a show of little humility could avert such a faux pas and further humiliation.
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