- Varun Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi are not campaigning for BJP candidates in Pilibhit
- Varun Gandhi has not been on the same terms as BJP for a decade
- As he is growing older, Varun Gandhi is showing his pro-Congress, pro-minority tilt
Varun Gandhi has often been touted to be one of those who has the potential to shed the poor imagery attached to Gandhi surname. However, his antics over the last 10 years have reduced his credibility. He is no longer been seen as a credible face and now he stands at the risk of being reduced to a Twitter page.
Varun Gandhi absent from Pilibhit
Varun Gandhi is not campaigning for BJP in Pilibhit, his own Lok Sabha constituency. Apparently, the official reason given by Varun is that he is ill due to being infected by the Delta variant of Covid. “I was afflicted with the Delta variant of Covid. I have still not recovered. I will reach my constituency once my health permits.” said Varun.
Not just Varun, but his mother Maneka Gandhi is also absent from election rallies in the region. However, the candidates contesting in all four Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Pilibhit do not seem flustered by the absence of the mother-son duo. In a statement quoted by Business Standard, the candidates have confirmed that BJP is already in a strong position on all seats.
Meanwhile, the opposition has interpreted the contest in a different way. According to them, the absence of Varun and Maneka from election rallies means that they are supporting rival candidates instead of BJP’s own. “The silence of a powerful opponent is nothing less than indirect support to his/her rivals. Of course, it will help us.”, said Shailendra Gangwar, a candidate from BJP’s main rival SP from Pilibhit seat.
Varun and BJP are destined to set apart
For a very long time, Varun Gandhi has not been on the same page as BJP. In October 2021, Varun Gandhi along with her mother was dropped from the national executive of BJP. The snubbing came after Varun called for a hefty 1 crore compensation to the families of so-called killed farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Read our detailed account of BJP’s cold shoulder to the mother-son duo
This was hardly the first time Varun had undermined his electorates. Varun joined BJP at the tender age of 23 in 2004. Just like life, his mother Maneka Gandhi was there to guide him in his political journey. Even when Congress supportive media had not started promoting Rahul Gandhi, Varun was considered as better of two cousins in political circles.
Varun was thought to be the better of the two Gandhis
For the BJP, no other than well-read Varun Gandhi could be a better counter to Congress nepotism. ‘Varun was Gandhi, but he was not Congressi’; this is the simple rule on which BJP capitalised. Later, his fiery oratory skills along with clear cut statements on communal issues provided him with an edge and he emerged victorious in the 2009 general elections, an election which is considered one of the worst in BJP’s history.
Varun continued to rise within the BJP, becoming the party’s youngest National General Secretary and subsequently in charge of BJP in West Bengal. However, along with his rise, the rifts started to show up as well. On the back of his firebrand Hindutva Youth leader image, Varun Gandhi started to aim for higher roles in BJP. In his mind, he seemed to have cultivated a larger-than-life image for himself.
The Greed for power
When then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi was being promoted up the ladder for Prime Ministership, Varun did not seem particularly enthusiastic. In fact, he refrained from attacking his cousin Rahul and aunt Sonia in the 2014 elections. PM Modi’s landslide victory in the election seems to be the first instance in which Varun Gandhi’s inner convictions did not align with BJP.
Read more: Varun Gandhi showing his ‘Gandhi’ colours
When PM Modi came to power, Varun started to make statements against party lines. When the opposition was cornering the government over Rohith Vemula’s suicide case, Varun took the opposition’s line on the issue. Similarly, he also indirectly supported for cancellation of the death sentence for terrorist Yaqoob Menon.
Was not chosen for CM face in UP
His discontent grew further in UP assembly elections 2017. After representing both Sultanpur and Pilibhit in Lok Sabha, Varun Gandhi had set his sight on the CM post of Uttar Pradesh. In spite of Varun getting support from his mother’s loyalists, Yogi Adityanath was selected by the BJP cadre due to him being more attached to workers than Varun, who only has intellectual sophistication as credibility.
Snubbing in UP politics provided him with a launchpad to go against party lines. Once called the face of Hindutva, Varun was seen supporting the illegal entry of Islamic fundamentalists Rohingyas inside Indian borders. Varun’s anti-BJP tilt was confirmed by his stands on Fake farmers’ protests. He targeted the Modi government for the ruckus created by Khalistani supportive groups.
Congress would welcome Varun
Even Congress has been indirectly hinting that Varun Gandhi is on their side. Recently, his slamming of people supporting Godse was heartily welcomed by Hardik Patel, a key member of the Gujarat Congress. Moreover, his closeness with Rahul Gandhi has been subjected to political gossiping.
Varun Gandhi seems to have served his purpose in BJP. In his developmental days, he seemed convinced about his political inclinations, but not anymore. As he grows older, his brain development seems more aligned with Congress which is why he is losing support from BJP’s top brass.