30 September is a day to remember and pay homage to Madhavrao Scindia, the senior Congress leader and scion of the erstwhile ruling family of Gwalior, who died on this day 19 years ago in an air-crash.
Had Madhavrao Scindia been alive, he’d have been 75 this year. He had the potential to give politicians across the entire political spectrum a run for their money.
The politicians cutting across party lines in Madhya Pradesh recall the key role Madhavrao Scindia had played in bringing the Congress to power in 1993 after the dismissal of the Sunderlal Patwa led Madhya Pradesh BJP Government in December 1992 in the wake of the riots that followed after the demolition of the Babri structure in Ayodhya by inculcating the Dabra spirit, which became synonymous with part unity.
The Dabra spirit built by Madhavrao Scindia had gone a long way in building a cohesive and united campaign for the 1993 Assembly election resulting in Congress party’s victory against the BJP and its return to power in Madhya Pradesh after a gap of three-and-half years
In a rare bid to display solidarity, prominent Congress leaders, including the Union Ministers from Madhya Pradesh, had shared a common platform and jointly addressed a large public meeting at Dabra in the Gwalior region on May 19, 1993. This exercise was held at the initiative of senior Congress leader late Madhavrao Scindia. It was a significant step towards building unity in the faction-ridden Madhya Pradesh unit of Congress party ahead of the crucial general election to the State Assembly later that year.
The 1993 State Assembly election was significant as it was being held a year after the imposition of President’s rule with the dismissal of the Sunderlal Patwa led State BJP government in the wake of the post-Ayodhya riots in December 1992.
The author Lalit Shastri with the late Madhavrao Scindia