The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
MTV to Scindia turf

Bhopal, April 8: From MTV to MP’s heat and dust — another Scindia son has appeared on the BJP poll horizon.

Yashodhara Raje Scindia is all set to launch son Akshay Bhansali Scindia from Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh, where Assembly bypolls are due. An MTV veejay, Akshay is news producer for MTV Desi, a channel celebrating South Asian and American pop culture and entertainment in the US.

The move comes a month after Yashodhara won the Gwalior seat, elbowing out the Congress candidate by over 35,000 votes despite the best efforts of nephew Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Although Assembly bypolls are due in Shivpuri, the Election Commission has yet to announce the dates. But rivals Congress and BJP have begun scouting for candidates.

Akshay, who holds a journalism degree from New York University, is now on a familiarisation trip of the constituency and is busy flaunting his Scindia credentials.

His visits are kept under wraps but BJP sources said he would start another round of “ears-to-the-ground” campaigning tomorrow. He is the eldest son of Yashodhara and Sidharath Bhansali.

Yashodhara, the youngest daughter of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia, had moved to New Orleans in 1977 after marrying cardiologist Bhansali against her family’s wishes. She returned to India in 1994 and joined politics.

If Akshay joins the family profession, he will be the third from the current generation to do so. His cousins, Jyotiraditya and Dushyant, are members of the Lok Sabha and aunt Vasundhara is chief minister of Rajasthan.

The news of Akshay’s arrival on the political turf has alarmed the BJP and the Congress. But BJP state party chief Narendra Singh Tomar underplayed his presence.

“What is the big deal about a young man visiting his mother’s constituency'” Tomar asked.

When told Shivpuri was no longer Yashodhara’s constituency, he said: “Every youngster has a right to take interest in politics.”

Congress leaders expressed concern saying Shivpuri was part of the Guna parliamentary seat held by Jyotiraditya. If Akshay got a BJP nomination, Jyotiraditya would have a challenger, they said.

A Congress leader claimed it was a matter of time before Akshay took up Indian citizenship to be eligible for the Shivpuri bypoll. He said Yashodhara had been a US citizen before joining politics.

“You never know, the citizenship application may already be in the pipeline.”

Yashodhara was not available for comment.

Email This Page