Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday conceded for the first time publicly that he had been offered the post of deputy chief minister of Madhya Pradesh by the Congress when the party’s government was formed in December, 2018.
Scindia was addressing a programme as part of the three-day mega show to induct Congress leaders and members into the BJP. He said that if he was greedy for power, if he was a "servant of the chair or the throne", he would have accepted the offer "back then".
“But, I will tell you why I did not take up the offer. It was because I knew what those on the throne (indicating ex-CMs Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh) would do to the state during the coming months,” Scindia said.
While several MP Congress leaders have previously claimed that Scindia had been made big offers and given all his dues while being in Congress, this is the first time that Scindia has himself said that he got an offer to be the deputy CM.
His assertion was part of his tirade against the Congress and especially Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh during his first visit to the Gwalior-Chambal after joining BJP. Scindia will be in the region till August 24, the last day of the mega-membership drive.
Narendra Saluja, Congress spokesman and media coordinator of Kamal Nath, however, issued a statement saying that Scindia wasn’t made any offer of deputy CM by the Congress and he (Scindia) was making false claims to enhance his importance in the BJP.
Meanwhile, Scindia is also joined by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP state president Vishnu Dutt Sharma and other senior party leaders from the region, in various programmes being organized since August 22. The leaders have viciously attacked the Congress and Nath and Singh – calling them promise breakers and accusing them of running a corrupt 15-month government in the state.
The BJP mega show is being looked upon as a by-poll campaign launch after the Election Commission of India’s indication that the by-poll dates to 27 seats in the state might be announced soon. Of the 27, the Gwalior-Chambal region has 16 seats up for by-elections.
Scindia confidante and minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar on Sunday claimed that 35,843 Congress members from 11 constituencies in the region had joined the saffron fold in two days and more will do so on Monday. Congress ex-minister Govind Singh derided the claim, saying that several of these persons had already left Congress and some names were included deliberately without consent of the concerned persons.
Digvijaya Singh joins Congress demo in Gwalior
Meanwhile, Congress Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh joined a demonstration by local Congress leaders and workers before the memorial of Rani Laxmibai in Gwalior. The Congress workers have been protesting the membership drive of BJP since Saturday and had also asked Scindia to go back.
Speaking to the media, Singh showed old clips of Scindia’s public speeches where he made very different claims about BJP and Congress from what he makes during his speeches these days.
Singh said that Scindia was given a lot by the Congress, yet he [Scindia] ditched the party and he is now making baseless allegations. He added that Scindia has alleged that he [Singh] was running the Kamal Nath government from behind the scenes, ‘but I ask him now there are five CMs in BJP, why don’t you say something about this too.’
The ex-CM also questioned holding the mega political show in Gwalior at a time when setting up of public Ganesh pandals was banned in the state.