BJP national secretary and Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi will be addressing a crowd of 200-300 people at the BJP office in Dadar today along with Poonam Mahajan. Gandhi, who has been keeping a low profile ever since he garnered bad publicity for his ‘hate speech’ at Pilibhit in 2009, will be making one of his bigger appearances today and will address the crowds about the impact of social media and its relevance to the youth.
According to party spokesperson Niranjan Shetty, Varun Gandhi and Poonam Mahajan are the youth icons of the party. “Varun has made his mark and I doubt anyone would not know him. This is the right way to reach out to the youth of the city.” Speaking about the rally, Poonam Mahajan said, “This is a first of its kind. The party office-bearers are organising this function and have invited us because both Varun and me are active both on Facebook and Twitter and have a good following allowing us to spread the party’s message to a greater audience.”
However, while Varun Gandhi’s invitation to the city has been heralded as a good move, it has also raised questions as to why the party’s youth wing president Anurag Thakur has been left out. Putting all speculation to rest, a leader said, “We wanted large numbers and Varun and Poonam have the greater following among the youth.”
Other side of coin
But even as the party has been extolling the advantages of the social media, it is the same platform that has caused a major rift in the saffron party. Senior BJP leader LK Advani openly criticised the party’s leadership on his blog, which left several other party members — especially from the RSS — smarting. A senior RSS leader said, “Steps are being taken to control the damage. The RSS is trying its best to convince Advani to write another post clarifying his statements.
The number of followers Varun Gandhi has on Twitter
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