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Varun Gandhi the 'rising son' in BJP?

At the National Executive meeting of BJP in Dehradun, the son of Maneka Gandhi has emerged as one of the most 'visible' faces of the party.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 11:54 IST

At the National Executive meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Dehradun, Varun Gandhi, son of former minister Maneka Gandhi, has emerged as one of the most 'visible' faces of the party, surprising national leaders.

Thousands of colourful posters of Varun Gandhi, who after his much-talked-about entry into the BJP has kept a low profile, stare at visitors in almost every nook and corner of the city where streets are full of BJP flags, banners and posters.

Varun Gandhi posters have been brought out by two outfits claiming to be representatives of the Jats and Brahmin communities. "Varun Gandhi is a young leader and he is popular here," a BJP leader said.

"The local unit expects him to address a number of meetings during the assembly elections in Uttaranchal," the leader added.

The BJP posters hail Varun Gandhi as India's 'hope' while welcoming his maiden visit to Uttaranchal.

Another surprise for many leaders in the party is the large number of cutouts of former BJP Chief Murli Manohar Joshi, whom many see as a spent force in the BJP. Joshi belongs to Uttaranchal but his home constituency is Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

"Joshi is one of the most respected leaders in BJP circles in Dehradun and hence the large number of cardboard cutouts and posters of him," said a senior functionary of Uttaranchal BJP.

The largest number of cutouts and posters are of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, closely followed by state BJP chief Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

In stark contrast, BJP chief Rajnath Singh and former party president LK Advani are conspicuous by their absence in the thousands of posters and banners all over Dehradun.

The situation is no different for senior BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who are often projected as the public faces of BJP at the national level.