Jyotiraditya Scindia’s response to Rahul Gandhi’s “BJP Backbencher” jibe

In happier times. File photo
In happier times. File photo

Rahul Gandhi’s reported comment that Jyotiraditya Scindia had become a “backbencher” in the BJP and would have to return to the Congress to ever be chief minister has drawn a swift and sharp response from the Rajya Sabha member who made the big switch last year.

“It would have been a different situation had Rahul Gandhi been concerned the same way as he is now, when I was in the Congress,” Jyotiraditya Scindia was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Mr Scindia left the Congress, his party of 19 years, in March last year, starting an exodus that led to the collapse of the party’s Kamal Nath government and the return of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh.

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On Monday, Rahul Gandhi apparently spoke about his one-time close aide while making a point of the importance of the party at a meeting of the Youth Wing of the Congress.

“He (Scindia) would have become the Chief Minister had he stayed with Congress but has become a backbencher in the BJP. Scindia had the option to strengthen the organisation by working with Congress workers. I told him – One day you will become the Chief Minister. But he chose another route,” Rahul Gandhi reportedly said.

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The Congress MP, according to sources quoted by ANI, also said, “Write it down, he will never become Chief Minister there. He will have to come back here for that.”

Scindia had, before joining the BJP, been in a sulk for more than a year and sources close to him claimed that he failed to get an appointment with Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi for months.