There are some who create controversies. Some who become victim of controversies. Some who wade into controversies, and finally some who totally avoid controversies. Varun Gandhi the 2nd scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family has always seemed to create and at times wade into controversies. Living with controversies could be a boon for a Secular Party such as Congress but the BJP prides itself in its discipline. Precisely which Varun Gandhi has chosen to ignore. Not once, but repeatedly.
Coming to the actual point here and the latest controversy surrounding him, what exactly is Varun Gandhi’s latest mistake?
- The ‘Gandhi’ surname?
- Being the son of an extremely unstable and volatile person like the late Sanjay Gandhi?
- Over ambition to become CM of UP at just 37 years?
- His closeness to his famous cousins from the Congress and his refusal to take them head-on?
- His irresponsible statement that not more than 45-50,000 people had attended the PM’s rally in Kolkata during the West Bengal Assembly elections campaign, when his own colleagues had estimated that roughly 3 Lakh people had attended?
- Or, his closeness to arms dealer Abhishekh Verma??
- Above all, falling off from the trust radar of the Modern day ‘Chanakya’ Amit Shah???
Every single of the above reasons make Varun Gandhi a liability to a party which prides itself in being structured and disciplined. Unfortunately for him all the above reasons can be attributed for the present rough weather he finds himself in. Not a single leader in the BJP who has grown to a certain position has reached that position due to family, favoritism, nepotism, wealth or grandeur. Particularly in cases of 2 members of one family in the party one is asked to forsake for the other.
- In the case of Yashwant and Jayant Sinha, Father was asked to sit out for the sake of his son.
- In the case of Vasundhara and her son Dushyant, son was asked to sit out for the sake of mother.
- In the aftermath of Gopinath Munde’s untimely demise, his ambitious daughter Pankaja who fancied herself as CM of Maharashtra was clearly and emphatically asked by the party to toe the party line.
- In the case of Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his son Pankaj Singh, Pankaj who enjoys huge support among the youth of UP was even denied a ticket for the 2014 General Elections.
In short, 2 individuals from the same family are never given tickets for the Parliament Elections or the Assembly elections. Maybe one is given in the Parliament and one in the Assembly. This too, being very rare.
The Mother-Son duo of Maneka Gandhi & Varun Gandhi being the sole exceptions in the BJP.
There are examples galore of relatives being asked to sit out to avoid complacency of nepotism in the BJP. This has been the single biggest reason for the stupendous growth of the BJP over the years. In which context the ambition of a 37 year old Varun Gandhi aspiring to become the CM of a strategic state such as UP having his mother has a Central Minister was a situation which the BJP top brass would have avoided even with a gun at their heads. Adding to this complication, his lineage to the much hated and despised Nehru-Gandhi family was always going to be a hurdle.
Varun Gandhi is no stranger to controversy. He has continued to embarrass his party, the BJP with alarming frequency. Be it his stand on the ‘Death Penalty’ where he and Congress’s Shashi Tharoor signed on the petition for abolishing the same. Be it his stand on the Jan Lok Pal, where he offered his own house to Anna Hazare, and was the 1st Politician to visit Hazare during his fast. Be it his praise of his cousin Rahul Gandhi on the issue of Amethi’s development, where his own mother and Central Minister Maneka Gandhi had to admonish him for doing that. Be it his statement in Philbit during the 2009 elections where he ‘threatened to cut the head of Muslims who threaten Hindus’. Or, the recent Allahabad Poster controversy where huge cutouts and Billboards of himself greeted the visiting BJP dignitaries, right from the airport itself, including the PM and party President Amit Shah for the party’s 2 day National Executive. He took the issue further by himself arriving at the conclave in a 2 dozen car cavalcade accompanied by a road show. The attention he grabbed was second only to that of the PM. This angered the BJP Top Brass who pride at the discipline the party always projects and swiftly identified the company contracted to do the posters and billboards from whom they acquired the names of the people who contracted them.
If Varun Gandhi is really guilty of being controversy’s latest child, why was the structured BJP tolerating him so long? The answer lies in his mother Ms. Maneka Gandhi and the widow of the late Sanjay Gandhi. Ms. Maneka, found comfort under the umbrella of the BJP since she was unceremoniously dumped by the late-Rajiv Gandhi and his wife Sonia Gandhi after they came to power in 1984. Since then, she has always repaid the good turn by delivering Philbit constituency time and again to the BJP.
But like all mothers, Maneka Gandhi guided by her maternal instincts requested the BJP to accommodate her young son still in his twenties. The BJP strangely obliged by giving the Sultanpur ticket to Varun Gandhi which incidentally was the constituency represented by his late father. Here is where the difference lies. While the mother never allowed her ambition to subvert the magnanimity shown by the BJP, the young son, typical of a Nehru-Gandhi scion always tried to over reach himself to display his ambitions time and again.
Worst part being his refusal to target his cousins and Aunt (Sonia Gandhi) on their various ill doings. Having such a leader aspire for the CM of a state such as UP was political suicide for the BJP.
Varun Gandhi was allegedly honey trapped into leaking sensitive defense information. If the charges against him are actually proved, it becomes BJP’s responsibility to not just sack Varun but make an example out of him.