Maneka Gandhi’s hidden agenda: Promoting Varun Gandhi as UP CM

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Maneka Gandhi with Varun Gandhi
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has raised the pitch for her son, saying it would be wonderful if Varun was made the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. But the statement seems to have not gone down well with the senior BJP leaders in the state who termed it the minister's personal views.

Addressing a public meeting in Pilibhit on Sunday, Maneka said, "There is BJP government at the Centre and SP government in UP. Ever since the BJP won the Lok Sabha elections, Mulayam Singh Yadav has stopped all development works in the state."

"It would have been wonderful if Varun was running the BJP government in the state and it would have also been great for Pilibhit," she further said.

Senior BJP leader and UP BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai was quick to react and said, "This is Maneka Gandhi's personal opinion, it's too premature to comment on such issues."

Is Varun fit to be pitched for UP CM's chair?

Varun Gandhi, 34, is party's Lok Sabha member from Sultanpur seat. The BJP general secretary is an avid orator and party's star campaigner. Varun landed into a controversy, after a case was filed against him for allegedly making a provocative speech about Muslims, at a meeting in Pilibhit. He was later acquitted by the court in the matter.

Will Maneka's comment prove a boon or a bane for Varun?

But a question arises why Maneka has suddenly pitched her son as party's chief ministerial candidate in UP, where there is already a long list of contenders for CM's post. It is not a trend in the BJP when a leader openly sees pitching for his/her son as party's CM candidate as these decisions are taken by party's core group.

Varun has all the qualities of leading the party in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, but there are several other leaders in the queue who are consistently working for bringing the party back in power in country's most populous state. This move from Maneka Gandhi could be considered as an attempt to sideline the efforts of senior state unit leaders.

Experts however feel that since polls in UP are too far away, by promoting Varun's name Maneka is simply testing how much of support will the leader get if he is being pitched as party's CM candidate.

Varun clears the air

Apparently sensing trouble, Varun himself downplayed his mother's statement. Media reports quoting him as saying, "It's not my mother's stand, it is a vivid media report."

Varun has a good track record as party's youngest general secretary and a responsible parliamentarian. He is also tipped to find a place in the new team being put in place by party chief Amit Shah. But, it will be interesting to see whether Maneka's comments will prove a boon or a bane for her son.

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