Wife might replace Jyotiraditya on Guna seat

Wife might replace Jyotiraditya on Guna seat

Jyotiraditya Scindia and his wife Priyadarshani Raje

One more member of the royal Scindia family might enter the poll arena. Priyadarshini Raje, wife of AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, could replace her husband as Congress candidate from the Guna-Shivpuri seat for the coming Lok Sabha election.

Guna district Congress committee (DCC) has unanimously passed a resolution demanding that Priyadarshini should be fielded from this seat.

It is being surmised in Congress circles that Jyotiraditya might decline to contest the Lok Sabha election owing to his formidable challenge to manage the campaign in the western UP of which he was recently made in charge general secretary. He is tasked with managing Congress campaign in 40 Lok Sabha seats in western UP where reviving the moribund party is a pretty tough responsibility.

It is also being said that Scindia might contest from the neighbouring Gwalior Lok Sabha seat where the Congress won in four out of seven segments in the recent Assembly election. However, the Congress lacks a sure-shot winnable candidate for the Gwalior seat. In the event, Scindia is likely to take up the challenge to put the Gwalior seat in the Congress kitty.

Speculation is rife that the DCC could not have unanimously pitched for Priyadarshini’s candidature without the tacit approval of her husband. The DCC handed over the resolution on Tuesday to Guna-Shivpuri Lok Sabha seat Congress in charge and Scindia-loyalist Rajendra Bharti.

Earlier, the youth Congress had raised the demand to field Priyadarshini from the Shivuri Assembly seat but the demand was turned down. Priyadarshani did not want to contest against her aunt-in-law Yashodhara Raje who was the BJP candidate. Yashodhara was a senior minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet. Her elder sister Vasundhara Raje was the Rajasthan chief minister.

Both Guna and Gwalior Lok Sabha seats are considered the Scindia bastion.

The dowager of the erstwhile Gwalior princely state and one of the founders of the BJP, late Vijayaraje Scindia was elected from the Guna seats six times as Jansangh and later BJP candidate. She won the last election from the seat in 1989.

Her estranged son late Madhavrao Scindia won successive elections since 1967 from Gwalior seat. He, however, shifted to Guna in the 1998 Lok Sabha election to Guna owing to thin margin of victory from his traditional Gwalior seat in the previous election.

After his death in plane crash in 2001, his son Jyotiraditya has been uninterruptedly representing the Guna seat.