Mandate 2024, Ep 2: BJP’s ‘parivaarvaad’ paradox, and the dynasties holding its fort

In the second part of this series, Sreenivasan Jain explores whether – and why – dynastic politics is here to stay, with the Scindia bastion of Guna as a case in point.
Written by:

In one election after another, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wooed large chunks of the Indian electorate with the idea that the dynastic rule of his “corrupt” political rivals has come to an end under his government. 

But the new BJP under him isn’t without dynasties. From leaders such as Jitin Prasad, Anurag Thakur, Piyush Goyal, Bansuri Swaraj and Rita Bahuguna Joshi, to erstwhile royal Jyotiraditya Scindia – who helped the party topple the Kamal Nath government and bring the BJP back to power in Madhya Pradesh. 

Scindia, meanwhile, is again in the fray from Guna, where Sreenivasan Jain met his son Mahanaaryaman, a fourth generation Scindia, in the interior villages of the Madhya Pradesh constituency. He went from one village to another, asking for votes, possibly preparing for his entry into the world of politics.

But Scindia Junior denies allegations of ‘parivaarvaad’, saying that him being part of Scindia’s campaign is not a political debut. “This is me supporting my father.” He insists that his only inheritance has been a devotion to public service, and all that he is focussing on is his company. “When sons join businesses, that’s not dynastic politics.”

The BJP, meanwhile, offers a convoluted defence.

Asked about BJP allies from political dynasties, including Ajith Pawar and Jayant Chaudhary, a BJP leader says, “Raja Ram, to defeat Ravana, do you know whose help he took? I will not give you a bigger example than this. To destroy Ravana we need Vibhishan. The goal is what is important.”

Asked about the party’s decision to field leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, another insists that “this is not about family”. “Dynasty is when you are launched. Maharaja Scindia does a lot of hard work. He goes to affected people, people who are suffering, he goes to their house.”

But in the remote parts of Guna, development is skewed and locals say the Maharaja last visited them when he was part of the Congress. Even then, faith in the dynasty seems to be unwavering.

A local who points to issues such as uninterrupted power supply and joblessness says he will still vote for the BJP leader. “See we believe in him, that he will find solutions to our problems.”

On the campaign trail, it seems evident that dynasty may help overcome some discontent of the kind that’s seen in Guna. And parivaarvaad across party lines is here to stay for long.


Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute