Born in a royal Scindia family, Madhavrao Jivajirao Scindia had a charisma. He had an appeal among the people not only in Gwalior, but also all over India. The forward-looking leader though member of Indian National Congress had friends and admirers cutting across party lines. His long successful electoral track record was instrumental in making him one of the most active member in both state and national politics. His untimely death in 2001 came as shock to the nation.
Madhavrao Jivajirao Scindia rose in the political scene of the 1970s when Congress led by Indira Gandhi helmed the country. Despite being a descendant of the Scindia dynasty of the Marathas he made his own space in public. He till his untimely death in 2001 played important role in both state and national politics.
Early Life and Education
Born on 10 March 1945 to the last ruling Maharaja of Gwalior, Jivajirao Scindia he attained his education at the Scindia School in Gwalior. After schooling he went to Winchester College and New College, Oxford for higher education. At his early days he followed the footsteps of his mother Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia by joining Jansangh. But soon switched to grand old part of India, Indian National Congress which welcomed the royal prince with open arms. He was married to Madhavi Raje Sahib Scindia and the lovely couple was soon blessed with a son namely Jyotiraditya Rao Scindia and a daughter Chitrangada Raje Scindia.
Political career of Madhavrao Jivajirao Scindia began in 1971, when he won for the first time from Guna constituency at the age of 26. Though he began career with the ticket from Jan Sangh but soon after emergency switched allegiance to Indian National Congress winning Guna seat once again. The biggest electoral win came in 1984 when contesting from Gwalior he defeated stalwart Bharatiya Janata Party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee by a massive margin. Since then he contested from either Gwalior or Guna. In his long span of political career he was nine-term member of the Lok Sabha and never lost an election.
The young leader had all the charm to attract the attention even in crowd of leaders. He got acquainted with ministerial profile in 1986 when was made Railways Minister (22 October 1986 – 1 December 1989) in the Rajiv Gandhi Ministry. The portfolio was no less than a challenging job for him which he handled well. Till date he is credited with the modernisation of Indian Railways earning applauds even from opposition members. George Fernandes, Scindia’s successor as minister of railways, is said to have thumped Madhavrao’s seat and said, ‘The man who sat on this chair for five years has done a bloody good job!’
During P. V. Narasimha Rao government he was made Minister for Civil Aviation. He tried to bring reforms to regulate the state run airlines but with limited success. After the air crash of 1992 he promptly submitted his resignation. As a Minister for Human Resource Development he was credited with set up of Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM) at Gwalior as an institution of repute, which got renamed after Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ABV-IIITM. He was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 1990 to 1993.
Madhavrao Scindia saw brief exile from Congress party in 1996 when he was drummed out of the party by being implicated in the Hawala Scandal. He along with Arjun Singh and other Congress dissidents founded the short-lived Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress; the party won just two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh. His party as part of the United Front government though he opted to stay out of the Cabinet.
Nation lost one of the iconic leader like Madhavrao in a plane crash on the outskirts of Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh on 30 September 2001. He alongwith six others were killed leaving a void hard to fill. The news came as shock to the nation in general and Gwalior in particular. Leaders cutting across party lines paid condolences to the departed soul who had his own charm and space in public life.
Spouse : Madhavi Raje Sahib Scindia
Children : Jyotiraditya Rao Scindia
Chitrangada Raje Scindia
(FAN OF Shri MADHAVRAO JIVAJIRAO SCINDIA)
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