Curious case of ‘missing’ Priyanka Gandhi, Varun Gandhi from UP poll campaign

During the Uttar Pradesh election campaign, voters of the state immensely missed two popular public speakers--Varun Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

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Lucknow, March 7: The Gandhi cousins--Priyanka and Varun--belong to rival political parties, however, this election season both of them displayed a similar 'trait'--the cousins decided to skip the high-voltage Uttar Pradesh assembly election campaign.

While Priyanka gave us a glimpse of her oratory skills by attending just one rally in the northern state, the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian from Sultanpur, UP, remained elusive.

Priyanka Varun

When Varun's mother and union minister Maneka was asked about her son's whereabouts, she told reporters that the BJP leader was 'too busy' to campaign in the state. "Varun (Gandhi) has been very busy. He's been travelling to speak to students across the country at various campuses," said Maneka.

However, reports suggest that Varun, known for his provocative speeches, skipped campaigning as he and his supporters were miffed with the senior leaders in the party for not declaring him as the chief ministerial candidate of the saffron party in UP. Many also say that the 36-year-old leader was upset when no one from the BJP came out in his support when allegations surfaced that he was honey-trapped into revealing defence secrets last year. Moreover, Varun's name as one of the BJP's star campaigners was declared pretty late by his party.

Before the campaigning for the state assembly elections started, reports suggested that Priyanka would extensively attend rallies and roadshows in UP. Her posters were seen in several parts of the state. However, when the actual campaign begun, she attended only one rally in Raebareli, which is also the parliamentary seat of her mother Sonia Gandhi. The 45-year-old made her appearance at the election meeting after union minister Smriti Irani took a jibe at her for skipping campaigning to avoid public queries.

As expected, Priyanka decided to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her address to the voters. During her short speech at the rally, Priyanka urged the voters that the state did not need to adopt an 'outsider' (PM Modi).

Till now, nobody knows why Priyanka did not campaign for the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in the state. Is it to avoid 'overshadowing' her brother and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi? In a television show on Monday night-when the campaigning for the month-long UP polls ended-BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked the Congress as why Priyanka skipped campaigning.

Like Patra, nobody knows the real reason behind Varun and Priyanka skipping the UP election 'battle'.

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