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Sanjay?s son campaigns against Sanjay?s protege

BJP workers in Sadar were nervous. Would Varun Gandhi's maiden visit in the Capital, to campaign against Jagdish Tytler, go unheard? They needn't have worried.
PTI | By Sutirtho Patranobis, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 13, 2004 11:56 PM IST

BJP workers in Sadar constituency were nervous. Would Varun Gandhi's maiden appearance in the Capital, to campaign for Vijay Goel in Kirti Nagar, go unheard? "Get more cars," a Varun confidant urged a Goel aide.

They needn't have worried. From the time Varun's silver grey Sonata rolled in, to the time he left, the 24-year-old was patted, hugged, garlanded and cheered for every repartee in his slow but steady speech. Firecrackers and flowers added to the bonhomie.

On the dais, he patiently waited his turn. Then, he stood patiently while more than 30 men, including Lalu Ram Gupta from Loha Mandi and Gulshan Kumar from Moti Nagar, insisted on burying him and Goel under flowers.

Varun began in Hindi: "I have not been keeping well for four days. But I am sure my condition is better than that of Congress." With more one-liners than high-voltage rhetoric, his speech was often punctuated with breaks for effect.

He drew inspiration from JFK, telling his audience not to ask what the country did for you, "but what all of us together can do for the rashtra."

Then came the impromptu press conference, where he took a potshot at aunty Sonia (on the foreign origin-high office issue) but spared cousin Rahul: "He is a Congress candidate, but that doesn't mean I'm going to campaign against him. Our difference is that of ideology and nothing else."

And on campaigning against a confidant of his late father's: "I don't know Jagdish Tytler. I know Vijay Goel better."

And then, it was off to Jahangirpuri for another meeting.

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