Is Varun Gandhi quitting BJP to join Congress?
New Delhi, Nov 29: Once again the report regarding Varun Gandhi, son of late Sanjay Gandhi and Union minister Maneka Gandhi, likely to join the Congress is doing the rounds in the media.
It is a known fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) from the Sultanpur constituency is one of the few "rebel" leaders from the saffron party who never shies away from criticising the Narendra Modi government openly.
As the 37-year-old leader, who was once considered as a blue-eyed boy of the party, has been relegated to the background by the current BJP regime, murmurs since long have been rife about Varun switching sides to join the Congress.
According to a report by India Today, Rahul Gandhi after becoming the party president of the Congress (which is likely to take place in December) would soon welcome his "estranged" cousin to join the grand old party.
Talking to India Today, senior Muslim leader Haji Jameeluddin said that Varun was being ignored in the saffron party and that no other leader other than Modi is allowed to say his or her "Mann Ki Baat" on public forums.
"Varun was one of the few people in the BJP who dares to have his own opinion in Modi's regime and he is paying the price for it by being sidelined in the party."
Jameeluddin revealed that several BJP supporters wanted Varun to be made the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh after the BJP won the state Assembly elections with a huge mandate earlier this year.
"But he was ignored in favour of Yogi Adityanath," said Jameeluddin.
Senior Congress leader Haji Manzoor Ahmed told India Today that ahead of 2019 parliamentary elections, Varun could be inducted into the Congress Working Committee (CWC) as a member or an office-bearer.
"Rahul and Varun could become a major force to be reckoned with, supported by Priyanka Vadra, who has always maintained cordial relations with Varun," Ahmed added.
Agra city Congress ex-president and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) member Ram Tandon told India Today that Varun has never made any direct attacks on Rahul in his public meetings and with Rahul becoming the president of the party, it is likely that Varun may join the Congress.
However, many say these reports are just rumours as it is unlikely that Varun would leave his mother Maneka, who is a cabinet minister in the Modi government, in a lurch to join the Congress.
Although Varun shares a good relationship with Rahul and Priyanka, Maneka and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, both of whom are sisters-in-law, still share cold vibes.
Moreover, if Varun joins the Congress soon another fight to take control over the party would resume between the two cousins, said a political pundit.
"Varun is a very independent person. It would be difficult for him to remain under the shadow of Rahul for long," the political pundit added.