Problem child Rahul Mahajan doesn’t just want to rule the House. He apparently wants to rule politically too, with friends launching an SMS campaign proposing him as an alternative to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as Member of Parliament from the Lucknow constituency.
Vajpayee is currently too ill to contest and the Bharatiya Janata Party has not announced a candidate for the Parliament seat yet. Many BJP leaders have received the text messages, which say there could be no better candidate than Rahul to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow.
The BJP is both outraged and amused. “Does he live in the real world?” a senior leader asked. For the record, state BJP president Nitin Gadkari categorically denied that he had received any such message. “I would have known even if our Delhi leaders received it,” he said.
Gadkari added that it was wrong to link Rahul with his party. “He is not even a party worker and, while he is [former party general secretary] Pramod Mahajan’s son, the party has decided at the highest level that we will not associate with him unless and until he gets an honourable acquittal in the drug-related case pending against him in the Delhi court.”
That seems pretty final. And perhaps sensing that finality, Rahul has now issued a statement to television: “I am too young to step into Vajpayee’s shoes.”