HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Priyanka says Varun has gone astray, Maneka hits back

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times  Baheri (Bareilly), April 13, 2014
First Published: 13:03 IST(13/4/2014) | Last Updated: 10:49 IST(14/4/2014)

It was Gandhi versus Gandhi as Priyanka Vadra told voters in UP that her cousin Varun Gandhi had “gone astray”, drawing a sharp retort from his mother Maneka.

In remarks that appeared to be asking people not to vote for the BJP’s Sultanpur candidate, Priyanka told Congress workers in Amethi on Saturday, “He (Varun) is my brother. But he has gone astray. When a young one in the family chooses the wrong path, the elders show him the right path. I urge all of you to show my brother the right path.”

Priyanka had accompanied her brother and local MP Rahul to file his nomination for the Lok Sabha polls.

Hitting back, BJP leader Maneka told a public meeting in her constituency, Pilibhit, on Sunday, “Varun has not chosen any wrong path, rather he is doing his duty to the country. I am confident he will do his duty well and win the confidence of the people.”

“If he has gone astray while serving the country, the country will decide,” she added, urging voters to instead remove the Congress from power. “You should remember you will not only vote to elect a prime minister but also decide who will form the next government. The country needs an honest government that works for the welfare of the masses.”

Earlier this month, Varun had praised Rahul’s work in Amethi, causing embarrassment to the BJP. A day later, however, he had clarified that his remarks “should not be seen as an endorsement of any party or candidate”.

“I believe Varun Gandhi is on the right track. If anyone has misled the country from the right path, it is Congress,” said BJP president Rajnath Singh said.

“Does Priyanka want her brother to take the path of 2G, 3G and coal scams?... It seems that in Priyanka's view, the path of scams is right,” the BJP’s Smriti Irani, Rahul’s rival in Amethi, told PTI.

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