Assembly elections: Murmurs in BJP as Varun Gandhi skips Uttar Pradesh | Hindustan Times
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Assembly elections: Murmurs in BJP as Varun Gandhi skips Uttar Pradesh

Until a few months ago, he was one of the potential CM candidates of the BJP.

assembly elections Updated: Feb 25, 2017 13:32 IST
Kumar Uttam
BJP member and Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi.
BJP member and Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi.(AFP Photo)

There is one Gandhi who is giving Uttar Pradesh a miss this poll season. Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi, 36, is staying away from campaign as the gulf between him and Narendra Modi’s BJP widens.

Until a few months ago, he was one of the potential CM candidates of the BJP. Several internal surveys of the party gave him a lead even over established leaders. So, what went wrong?

“BJP chief Amit Shah and Varun Gandhi just can’t go together. There is something wrong between the two,” a BJP general secretary said, preferring anonymity. Shah did not keep Varun in the list of campaigners for the first phase, but included his name in later phases. Varun chose to turn his back on Shah.

The BJP president was in Sultanpur, Varun’s constituency, on Tuesday but without him. Varun was in Delhi. His twitter profile shows what he has been doing all these months. He was in Indore on Tuesday; Kochi on February 11; Churu on January 31; Hyderabad on January 21; and Jammu on January 18.

In these places, Varun interacted with young crowds on a range of topics from ideas of new India, building an equitable India to use of technology to empower people.

At Indore on Tuesday, he raked up the issue of suicide by Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, saying the suicide note left him in tears. BJP leaders refrained from commenting. His idea of taking a ‘left of the centre’ position is keeping the BJP guessing.

Read: Varun Gandhi says he cried after reading Rohith Vemula’s suicide note

“The (Indore) speech was an academic one. It focused on the economic inequality prevalent within our system and the need to effect real effective socioeconomic change... I have been speaking about these issues for years,” Varun told HT.

Sources close to him say more such events are lined up over the next few months. When not travelling, Varun writes for newspapers or pens down poetry. A book on his work is expected to hit stands later this year.

On Wednesday, the BJP dropped Varun from the list of star campaigners for the coming phases in Uttar Pradesh.