The shock defeat of Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia in his family seat Guna, losing by a big margin of 1.25 lakh votes to his former protege KP Yadav, is being attributed to the lack of connect with voters.
The Guna constituency in Madhya Pradesh was always considered a fortress of members of the erstwhile Scindia royal family of Gwalior, and they never faced defeat in any electoral wave or storm .
“The relations of Scindia family members with the people of the Guna, Shivpuri and Ashok Nagar were familial for hundreds of years and they used to maintain personal ties but in the past few years Scindia’s PA Purushottam Parasar has been handling the all responsibilities of the constituency. His attitude towards the people and supporters played a major role in keeping them away from Maharaj”, a hardcore supporter of Scindia who was entrusted to handle campaigning responsibilities for this election, told The Statesman.
After the untimely death of Madhav Rao Scindia his son Jyotiraditya started his political journey by contesting byelections in 2002 and he registered a grand victory over the BJP candidate.
Since then he had been continuously winning the seat. The Scindias, including Rajmata Vijaye Raje, have won the seat 14 times .Apart from Jyotiraditya, his wife Priyadarshini Raje and daughter Ananya campaigned door-to-door for the first time and held hundreds of street meetings and road shows.
Priyadarshini Raje’s remark, “the BJP has fielded that candidate who used to be eager to take selfies with Maharaj” also played a role in uniting Yadav voters against Scindia. There are around 3.35 lakh Yadav voters in the 9 lakh electorate in the constituency.
K P Yadav was a Congress worker and was known as a hardcore supporter of Scindia. He had sought a ticket from Mungaoli seat in the recently held Assembly polls but the Congress refused to oblige him. He joined the BJP and contested on their ticket but lost.
Former chief minister, Shivraj Singh suggested thet he be fielded against Jyotiraditya in Guna and also campaigned for Yadav several times. Chouhan’s role is considered crucial for the victory of BJP in Guna seat.
After 2009, when Parashar took charge as PA, the margin of votes of victory of Scindia decreased continuously. In 2002, the margin of victory was 4.06 lakh votes while it remained 2.50 lakh and 1.20 lakh in 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections respectively.
In the past few years, it was increasingly difficult for people to meet Jotiraditya as staff in Shivpuri and in Delhi became high-handed, said Ramratan Seharia, a resident of Kolaras Assembly segment of Guna seat.
Hundreds of supporters of Jyotiraditya quit to join other parties in the last two years. “We contested the election in a strategic manner to gain victory this time and took benefits of gaps which had been done between the people of the constituency and Congress candidate. The people had wanted a change this time because they were ignored by the local MP,” Mahendra Singh Yadav, incharge of election campaign of BJP in Guna constituency told The Statesman.