Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday took a jibe at his once close friend and former party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, saying "who earlier was counted among 'decision makers' in his former party, now only gets to enjoy from the back seat as a spectator ever since he crossed over to saffron pastures and will never be able to become the Chief Minister there".
The former Congress chief's remarks came during the two-day national executive meeting of the Indian Youth Congress here.
According to party sources, Rahul Gandhi said that he used to tell Scindia "to work hard, so that he could be a Chief Minister one day. But now he is a backbencher in BJP".
"He (Scindia) had decision making powers in our party and he always remained with me. But he left the party and joined the BJP, and look where he is sitting today. He is sitting among the backbenchers," a source quoted Gandhi as saying.
The source added that Rahul Gandhi also said that Scindia will never be able to become a Chief Minister while staying in BJP.
"Accept the fact that he will never be made the Chief Minister in the BJP. He will have to come back to Congress to become a Chief Minister," Gandhi was quoted by the source.
Scindia was one of the Congress leaders who could call on Rahul Gandhi at any point of time. He had a free pass to the former Congress President's home. However, Scindia left the party in March last year, orchestrating the collapse of the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh.
Scindia has been made a Rajya Sabha member by the BJP. He had lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to K.P. Singh Yadav despite contesting from his traditional seat of Guna, which was considered a family bastion of the Scindias in Madhya Pradesh.
In his resignation letter to the party on March 9 last year, Scindia had said that he was unable to work in the party and Sonia Gandhi had the knowledge of the same.
To a question by a youth leader about turncoats who have returned to the party fold, the source quoted Gandhi as saying, "The Congress is like a sea. Here everyone following the ideology of the party are welcome. And those who do not follow the ideology of the party can leave anytime."
When pressed hard on how turncoats returned to top posts in the party, Rahul Gandhi asserted that they had to work really hard to return to the high posts.
After the Youth Congress meet, Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "Met with IYC colleagues and discussed national issues. At every step, we have to wage a non-violent struggle against the RSS mentality - so that India's diversity and culture does not come under fire."