Bangalore, April 26: A number of politicians in India are finding cracks developing in their families because of the BJP, or more precisely, Narendra Modi.
Take for example, the Gandhis. India's first political family has led the Congress for years except Maneka Gandhi, the widow of late Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi, and their son Varun Gandhi. Recently, Priyanka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi had a serious rift with the former accusing her cousin brother of choosing the wrong path. It is quite surprising that Priyanka Gandhi decided to attack Varun Gandhi in sharp words after so many years since he has joined the BJP. Was the Modi factor too compelling?
A glamour family from Andhra Pradesh also had a similar experience. Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi was upset when his brother Pawan Kalyan, also a popular actor, openly backed Narendra Modi. He, like Priyanka Gandhi, also disapproved of Kalyan's move.
Priyanka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi
The rift in the Gandhi family was too obvious, but why now? Is Narendra Modi the reason?
Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan
Pawan Kalyan floated his own Jana Sena and met Modi in Ahmedabad in March. He backed the BJP and vowed to throw out the Congress, the party of which Chiranjeevi is a member.
Manmohan Singh and Daljeet Singh Kohli
Daljeet Singh Kohli, a businessman based in Amritsar, joined the BJP two days after the PM denied that there is a Modi wave in the country.
Raj Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray
The estranged Thackeray cousins are in a fierce competition to get and remain close to the BJP led by Modi. Raj Thackeray even lashed out at Rajnath Singh after the latter mocked his support for the BJP, most likely under the Shiv Sena's pressure. The Modi factor has indeed hit the two cousins' relation badly.
MK Stalin and MK Alagiri
In this case, the Modi factor came in after the split. MK Alagiri spoke in favour of Modi after he was expelled from the DMK. A few days earlier to that, MK Stalin dismissed the Modi wave and also said Modi was unfit for the top post.
Narendra Modi & Rajnath Singh
Seeing the opponent camps divided on family lines on the questioning of supporting the BJP, its leaders won't be complaining.
Prime Manmohan Singh was left stunned after his step-brother Daljit Singh Kohli, a businessman by profession, joined the BJP at a rally of Modi in Amritsar on Friday. He said a strong government was needed and that his brother couldn't do much because of the party and the alliance. The development was ironical for just a couple of days before this, the prime minister rubbished reports that there is a Modi wave in the country.
And then we have the Thackerays in Mumbai. The two cousin-brothers, Uddhav and Raj, have engaged in a strategic battle to get closer to Modi, worsening their already battered relationship in the process. The Shiv Sena has showed its displeasure with the plan to form a mega alliance in the state featuring itself, the BJP and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena while the temperamental Raj Thackeray has not hidden his frustration and sometimes even took digs at Modi.