Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh): Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi paid floral tributes at the memorial of Rani Laxmibai on Friday, thus becoming the first Gandhi family member to do so. Later in the day, she will address a public rally at the Mela Ground here.
The public rally is crucial for Congress in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh as Gwalior-Chambal region is the home turf of union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Priyanka Gandhi had started the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh in June with a rally in Jabalpur and announced the party's five promises including assistance of ₹1500 per month to women of the state.
Closeness With Scindias Prevented From Visiting The Memorial
Notably, no other member of the Gandhi family has ever visited the memorial till date. Even before this, veteran Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have visited Gwalior many times and held programs, rallies but none of them have paid tributes at Rani Laxmibai’s samadhi.
Political analysts believe that the Gandhi family’s closeness with the Scindia family was the main reason for them to refrain from such moves. However, it was after Jyotiraditya Scindia left Congress and joined BJP, leading to the fall of Kamal Nath government, that Congress started attacking Scindia family openly for betraying Rani Laxmibai during the 1857 revolt.
Scindia Dynasty Is Accused Of Betraying The Queen Of Jhansi
Jyotiraditya Scindia is a part of the Scindia dynasty that ruled the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior. In a bid to expand itself, the East India Company wanted to put an end to the rule of kings in India. The then Maharaja of Gwalior Jayajirao Scindia is said to have supported the British by accepting its defeat and fleeing the Gwalior Fort which he was later given back to rule by the British after the queen’s death.