Exclusive: Jaivardhan Singh’s insights on Congress’ resurgence in Madhya Pradesh


Former Madhya Pradesh minister Jaivardhan Singh, who is contesting the November 17 Assembly elections from his family bastion Raghogarh in Guna district, filed his nomination on Thursday accompanied by his six-year-old son Sahasra Singh and father and two-time former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. In an exclusive interview with India News, the Congress leader speaks about his strategy for the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh.
Q: We know the outcome of the 2018 elections in Madhya Pradesh and the 2020 tsunami that upended the Congress. What is your mindset going into the upcoming assembly elections, which has presented you with another opportunity?
A: What occurred in 2020 was neither a tsunami nor a storm, but an act of deceit. However, the upcoming polls are regular elections and not by-elections so the BJP cannot hide behind its administration anymore. They will now have to contest all 230 assembly seats in the state. I believe voters play the role of kingmakers and whatever took place in 2020 was a betrayal of the people’s trust. Kamal Nath and the Congress have the blessing of the common people and in the Congress’ 15 month-long-tenure, the party showed the people its trustworthiness and capability. Our intentions were to relieve the people from rising prices caused by the BJP, subsidise electricity and establish industries in the state; all this was put to a halt in the last three years. The people want Kamal Nath to serve a full five-year term and I believe the people will vote for a mandate in Madhya Pradesh that the BJP can only dream of.
Q: You’ve always held Jyotiraditya Scindia in high regard. Now that he has joined the BJP, what is your opinion regarding his decision?
A: Jyotiraditya Scindia was a senior leader of the party, serving several times as a Union Minister and Member of Parliament. All of us respected him and so his decision came as a surprise to most of us in the party, now his future is in the hands of the BJP, so there isn’t much more for me to say.
Q: His departure has created a vacuum in the Chambal seat, where you have recently become active. We’ve also seen increased activity in constituencies such as Ashok Nagar, Gwalior, and Morena. Is Jaivardhan Singh filling the vacuum left by Jyotiraditya Scindia? Is this a new strategy for the party?
A: To me, politics is not about specific individuals. The Congress has many leaders in Gwalior and Chambal, including Govind Singh, Lakhan Singh and Ram Niwas Rawat amongst others. Similarly, we have well-known faces in the Morena seat as well, such as KP Singh and Gopal Singh Chauhan. We have several leaders who have years of experience and significant voter bases.
Q: However, the party has not given Virendra Raghuwanshi, who recently left the BJP to join the Congress a ticket for this election. Why is that so?
A: Once news broke that Yashodara Raje would not contest from Shivpuri this time and that Jyotiraditya Scindia would be fielded there, the party leadership felt that an experienced leader such as KP Singh should be fielded on the Shivpuri seat. However, I do feel that it was not right on the party’s part to not give Virendra Raghuwanshi a ticket. The party should give him, assurances that he will in time be given the respect he deserves within the party.
Q. What motivated you to pursue a career in politics, given your good looks and potential in other fields?
A: In my perspective, an individual’s character is more significant than their appearance or image. During my childhood, I had no inclination towards politics. It wasn’t until my father became the Chief Minister when I was seven years old that I developed any interest in politics. However, my initial interest was not in politics; it only emerged during my time working in Mumbai. When I felt this growing interest, I approached my father about entering politics. He advised against it, suggesting that it might not be the ideal path for me. Nevertheless, my commitment to serving the people and making a positive impact on society outweighed any reservations. I firmly believe that addressing the community’s needs and bringing about positive change is the true essence of politics.