Unsavoury words were used against me... MP results have silenced them: Scindia | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

HT interview: Unsavoury words were used against me... Madhya Pradesh election results have silenced them, says Scindia

Dec 04, 2023 02:28 AM IST

Jyotiraditya Scindia whose move to BJP in 2020 saw it return to power after losing the 2018 elections, spoke to HT on stunning performance in MP and road ahead.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, 52, whose move to the BJP in 2020 saw the party return to power after losing the 2018 elections, spoke to HT on the party’s stunning performance in Madhya Pradesh and the road ahead. Edited excerpts:

Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Bhopal on November 9. (PTI)
Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Bhopal on November 9. (PTI)

Did you anticipate this magnitude of victory?

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I’ve always maintained, despite all the sceptics sitting in Delhi and some in Madhya Pradesh, that the BJP is set for a majority victory in Madhya Pradesh. I have always said that we will exceed the magic number of 116.

I never thought it would be a landslide victory like this, almost a two-thirds majority. I would first of all like to thank the people of Madhya Pradesh. The credit for their win foremost goes to the inspiring leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made it very clear that “Modi ke mann mein MP, aur MP ke mann mein Modi” (MP is in Modi’s mind and Modi in MP’s) and that came across very strongly.

The trust that the people have in him to lead us at the state level and at the national level is evident. The credit also goes to our home minister, Amit Shah, and party president JP Nadda. Throughout the campaign, they worked on the strategy, worked out the minutest details and if it weren’t for their strategy and guidance, this win would not have been possible. At the state level, I would like to thank all my party workers. I would also like to credit Shivraj Singh Chouhan ji, his governance, his vision, and the transformation of Madhya Pradesh over the 18 years of BJP rule. (State) party president Vishwadhar Sharma led our campaign from the front.

Also read- Congress faces tough INDIA bloc equation after defeat

In your region of Gwalior and Chambal, you have done very well. Can you share with us some strategies that paid off?

Well, the way we looked at the whole state, and more specifically for me, Gwalior and Chambal, the party worked in unison. We crafted that strategy at the micro level and then also decided our candidates. This was part of the home minister’s strategy, and well in advance, in those seats where we were weak in the past, the candidates had to cover the ground very quickly.

Pundits were forecasting 3-4 seats out of 34 seats for the BJP, and the last count that I saw, we were close to 19-20 seats out of 34, which is a historic win for our party. From the seven seats that we had in the last elections in 2018, we have almost tripled the number in Gwalior and Chambal.

Did your rivals not work in unison?

I don’t want to cast any aspersions. The Congress put up a good fight, but they are the vanquished. I would not like to carry any ill feelings like them from my side to any of them.

Also read: Caste to welfare, all cards fall flat for Congress in heartland

It’s interesting you say that because some of the attacks got pretty heated in a campaign, and there were some comments made against you as well.

Personal comments have been made against me for the past three years. They abused me, they used unsavoury words against me, they cursed me, and even mocked me. They tried to taint my family members and all of these attacks, I took all of it head on. Firstly, through the previous election results, the public has silenced them. Secondly, when they didn’t stop even after that, these results have done it. Every single Opposition leader, be it Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath Ji, or any other leader of the Congress, the results have silenced them forever. Especially, one woman politician (ek netri), she spoke about my height, she insulted my family. I had said that the public of Gwalior and Chambal will give an answer to them. And for those who were talking about my height, the public has shown her the height of MP’s public. Previously, the people of Uttar Pradesh had shown this, and now Madhya Pradesh has too.

You are talking about Priyanka Gandhi?

I would leave that for you to infer.

Do you finally feel vindicated about leaving the Congress?

I don’t want to live in the past because Congress is my past. Justice has been done by the people. They have given a befitting reply. And I think the leadership of Prime Minister Modi stands apart; where every person across length and breadth in this country holds their faith in one single person. It has come clearly across in not only this election but also in Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.

Also read-Assembly election results: As BJP wins 3 states & Cong wins Telangana, here's what exit polls had predicted

The women’s vote seems to be a big advantage.

The Ladli Behna Yojana has been a game-changer in MP and this credit goes to Chouhan ji.

Is this vote against the Congress’s pitch for an OBC census?

Everything that the Congress stands for, the result has been an answer against it. The public is tired, agitated, disappointed and irritated of it. They do not want to be a part of that anymore.

Does this take your expectations higher for 2024?

We will win the 2024 Lok Sabha polls by an enormous majority. And you can quote me on that.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!

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    Sunetra Choudhury is the National Political Editor of the Hindustan Times. With over two decades of experience in print and television, she has authored Black Warrant (Roli,2019), Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous (Roli,2017) and Braking News (Hachette, 2010). Sunetra is the recipient of the Red Ink award in journalism in 2016 and Mary Morgan Hewett award in 2018.

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