Posters put up by a BJP worker at Bhind district headquarters welcoming Congress national general secretary and ex-Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia have gone viral, sparking rumours, again, that the BJP might be trying to cosy up to Scindia.
The posters, with a big photograph of Scindia waving, interestingly also carry images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The poster terming Scindia as Shrimant (honorific used for him as scion of the Gwalior royal dynasty) and commending him for supporting the abrogation of Article 370 has been put up by BJP worker Hridesh Sharma, district president of the Bharat Raksha Manch. The Bharat Raksha Manch is headed by senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Raghunandan Sharma. Raghunandan Sharma’s photo also appears on the posters.
Scindia was on a visit to Bhind on Thursday and the posters cropped up at various places in the town on that occasion. The poster reads (in Hindi), “Welcome, congratulations and salutation to Shrimant Jyotiraditya Scindia, great son of India and pride of Gwalior-Chambal, for his support to the abrogation of black Article 370 of Constitution.”
However, the BJP has officially distanced itself from the posters. Party spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal, while speaking to THE WEEK accepted that Hridesh Sharma was a BJP worker. “But the party has nothing to do with the posters. It might be his (Hridesh Sharma’s) personal initiative,” Agrawal said.
Meanwhile, the posters have triggered another round of rumours about the BJP trying to get Scindia to its fold. In late August, when the issue of appointment of the MP Congress Committee chief had become contentious, there had been talk about Scindia threatening to quit the Congress and “look for other options”, presumably the BJP.
Senior BJP leaders including the national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and ex-minister Jaibhan Singh Pavaiya had also fanned talk of Scindia looking to join the BJP. Later, Scindia had denied the rumours.
Currently, Scindia is on an intensive tour of the Gwalior-Chambal region and his statement on the Congress needing introspection had created ripples in state politics. Scindia has also been constantly pointing out shortcomings of the Congress government in the state during his public interactions. In Bhind, Scindia spoke about the “incomplete loan waiver to farmers” and promised to take it up with government.
Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi, said that if a BJP worker puts up posters welcoming Scindia, it is an issue for that party. “But it shows that Jyotiraditya Scindia is a popular and publicly accepted leader even among the BJP cadre,” Chaturvedi said.