BJP leader Varun Gandhi reacts to his cousin Priyanka's 'gone astray' remarks directed at him
Days after Priyanka Gandhi said her cousin Varun Gandhi had gone “astray” and should be shown the right path, the 34-year-old BJP leader broke his silence saying the comment hurt him.
BJP leader Varun Gandhi campaigns in Sultanpur
“I was very hurt,” said Varun after filing his nomination papers from the Sultanpur constituency on Tuesday. Varun and Priyanka are considered to be close to each other, despite their mothers not being on good terms. According to sources in the BJP, Varun never expected such a remark from his cousin sister.
“But, I will try to maintain my dignity, decency and indulge in positive progressive politics, which is the future of the country. I don’t believe in politics of one upmanship and negativity,” he said, making a veiled rebuttal to his cousin, during a rally in Sultanpur.
Varun, who had contested the 2009 elections from Pilibhit, will be contesting this time from the constituency neighbouring Amethi where his other cousin, Rahul is contesting the polls.
Indicating that he is not contesting the elections based on his family’s legacy or on his father’s name (Sanjay Gandhi), Varun said politicians get elected based on their credibility. “People may elect me because they have an association with my family, but ultimately it will be my credibility,” he said.
When he was asked whom did he miss the most, as none of his family members were present during the filing of his papers, Varun said, “I miss my wife and mother, but most of all, I miss my father. He has in many ways been a role model and hero, not just for me but also for many youngsters.”
As he approached the collector’s office to file his nomination papers, people gathered there started shouting slogans: “Varun nayi Aandhi hain, Dusra Sanjay Gandhi hain” (Varun is the second Sanjay Gandhi). “My father died, when I was 100 days old. I have seen good times and some very bad times too. I want people in Sultanpur to treat me like their son,” he said.
Priyanka on his mind
Firing a salvo at his estranged family, without taking names, Varun said, “Mere shalinta, mere sharafat ko koi meri kamzori naa samjhe.”
(No one should take my sincerity and generosity for granted) Varun is pitted against Pawan Pandey from the BSP, Shakeel Ahmed from Samajwadi Party and the sitting MP Sanjay Singh’s wife Amita Singh from the Congress for the Sultanpur constituency.