Bhopal (IANS) Former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia who ended his 18-year association with the Congress to join the BJP was given a rousing reception by his new party on his maiden visit to Bhopal on Thursday.
BJP workers thronged the Bhopal airport. Most senior leaders of the Party, Union Minister Naaendra Singh Tomar, state unit president VD Sharma, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and ministers Narottam Mishra, Bhupendra Singh and leader of the opposition Gopal Bhargava joined the road show that wound its way from the Airport to the BJP state headquarters in two hours.
The BJP's enthusiasm matched the occasion to celebrate a major acquisition like Scindia.
In response to his reception, Scindia said that politics is just a means of public service for the Scindia family. Whenever the Scindia family was challenged, it did not has hit back tellingly. It was an emotional moment for him to be joining the party that "my grandmother Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia founded."
The family has sacrificed everything to build the party family. "I can assure that I will work hard. I will not hesitate to shed my blood wherever you shed even a drop of your sweat. I'm handing myself over to you.
Chaohan welcomed Scindia and vowed to overthrow the state government. Shivraj compared Scindia with the character of Vibhishan in Ramayana. He said Scindia is with us in the same way as Vibhishan was needed to destroy Ravana's Lanka.
Scindia said, "When my grandmother was humiliated by the then ruling party leadership she chose to hit back in 1967 and the then government fell. After this, my father, the late Madhavrao Scindia was falsely accused in the Hawala case in 1990s. You all know what followed. Similarly, when I raised the issue of non-fulfilment of promises made in the manifesto about guest scholars, farmers' loans and Mandsaur farmer firing, I was also challenged. Now I will work with you to achieve the objective of public welfare."
He was delayed by two hours. Scindia who has been nominated as BJP candidate will file his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha on Friday the closing day for nominations.
BJP workers who were missing no opportunity to criticise Scindia till a couple days ago went to welcome him with great fanfare. He was taken from Airport to the BJP office for the state Working Committee meeting for the modalities of nomination. Strangely most slogans were hailing Chouhan, Tomar and Narottam Mishra. The apparent message was to safeguard the old guard of the party in the wake of the new entry.
Scindia garlanded the statues of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, grandmother Vijayaraje Scindia, Kushabhau Thackeray and father Madhavrao Scindia before filing his nomination.
On Friday, Scindia will file papers for the Rajya Sabha with senior BJP leaders. At the same time, in support of Scindia. More than 10,000 activists including many Congress district heads of Gwalior, Guna, Shivpuri have resigned from the party.
Posters put up near Polytechnic square in Bhopal were either smeared with ink or partly torn by some activists. Congress members who were offended by his joining the BJP, burnt his effigies and defaced billboards erected to welcome him.