The ‘Maharaja of Gwalior’ assembled his troops for battle. Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the 52-year-old descendant of Gwalior’s former royal family said that “My commanders will protect the fort”, by addressing the BJP supporters in Piprai village, located in Madhya Pradesh’s Ashok Nagar district, on October 29. Scindia noticed a party worker in the audience taking a sip of water and directly addressed him, saying, “My fellow, you can quench your thirst later, now is the moment for battle.”
Approximately 250 kms away, is a Raghogarh fort, where well-established rivals of the Gwalior royal family have initiated a strategy to collapse Scindia and the commanding BJP party from the Gwalior-Chambal region.
Jaivardhan Singh, a 37-year-old son of the former MP CM Digvijay Singh and heir to the former Raghogarh princely state within the Gwalior Residency, is actively inspecting the constituencies, by holding a walkie-talkie in his grasp, where rebel Congress candidates may pose a threat to the party’s prospects. Jaivardhan takes a moment to converse with The Indian Express, explaining, “There’s an underlying current in this election. Our primary strategy is to convey to every household in Gwalior-Chambal that Scindia betrayed the people’s mandate, which is the gravest offense.”
Considering November 17 elections in Madhya Pradesh, The Indian Express began on a journey for over 790 kms, starting from the Gwalior-Chambal region till Chhindwara. Chhindwara is the hometown of Kamal Nath, a seasoned and effective member of the Congress party. He’s still upset about Jyotiraditya Scindia’s ‘betrayal’ in 2020 and is eagerly waiting to regain his position.”
In the 2018 elections, the Congress won and secured 114 out of 230 seats, while the BJP, led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had been in power for three terms, ended up with 109 seats. However, the political landscape shifted when key Congress leaders from the Gwalior-Chambal region, led by Scindia, switched sides to the BJP, ultimately returning the BJP to power. Now, three years later, former CM of the Congress, Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh, are seeking ‘revenge’ and have compared themselves to ‘Jai’ and ‘Veeru’ from the classic 1975 movie Sholay.
The BJP, led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has made many efforts and deployed several prominent party members, including 3 Union ministers, 4 MPs, and 1 national general secretary, to defend their position. This election has turned into an all-out battle in Madhya Pradesh, similar to that of the historic princely conflicts that witnessed betrayal and a thirst for vengeance.