January 2020
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Will be first to support Scindia if he forms new party: MLA
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Congress MLA Suresh Rathkheda on Thursday said if senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia floats a new political outfit, he will be the first to join it. The Pohri MLA, who is a staunch supporter of Scindia, however, ruled out any possibility of the senior Congress leader forming a new party. After Scindia dropped the party''s name from his Twitter bio, there was speculation in the Madhya Pradesh political circles that he was unhappy in the organisation. "Some reporters asked me about ''Shrimat Maharaj'' (as some Scindia''s supporters call him) leaving the Congress and forming a new outfit.

In reply to this, I express full faith in Scindiaji," Rathkheda told PTI. "First of all, Scindiaji will never leave the Congress and join another party. But he is the only leader capable of forming a party whenever he wishes so. In such a situation, I will be the first person to stand with him," he stated. At the same time, Rathkheda asserted his party was supreme for him and that Scindia would not take any such step (of forming a new outfit). "I have not spoken to Scindiaji about this. But, he is like an Isht Dev (adored deity) for me," Rathkheda said.

Amid the ongoing political buzz, former Congress leader and hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan said Scindia was a strong leader and his capabilities should be used by the state party unit. Talking to reporters in Harda on Wednesday, the former Union minister also advised Scindia to speak openly. "Scindia has a strong line of followers among the party workers and legislators, who can do anything for him. The Congress was successful in Gwalior-Chambal region due to his campaigning, which further helped the party to form the government in Madhya Pradesh," Khan said. Meanwhile, state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi, who is believed to be close to Scindia, said Rathkheda''s comments were his personal views.

"Scindia has repeatedly clarified that he is in the Congress. The MLA''s views are based on a completely hypothetical situation," Chaturvedi said. Former MLA from Gwalior Ramesh Agrawal also said that speculations about Scindia leaving the Congress were baseless. "Scindia is in the Congress and we all are with him," Agrawal said. After Scindia changed his Twitter bio, social media went into overdrive earlier this week with many wondering whether he was planning to quit the Congress and others highlighting the reported differences between him and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

However, Scindia, who lost Lok Sabha polls earlier this year from his family stronghold Guna, dismissed the speculation as "baseless". Scindia said he changed his Twitter bio a month ago after the feedback that it is a long bio-data and should be made short. His Twitter bio had earlier stated, "Former Member of Parliament Guna (2002-2019). Former Minister for Power (I/C); MoS Commerce and Industry, MoS communications, IT and Post". Scindia''s Twitter bio now reads, "Public servant, cricket enthusiast".

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