With his recent statements that are not necessarily in consonance with the BJP, Varun Gandhi is leaving his party leaders guessing.
His latest tweet against Padma Shri awardee Kangana Ranaut –whose statement on Independence has already created a political storm-may has embarrassed the BJP but it has surprisingly won him support from the BJP cadre.
A local BJP leader from Sultanpur, a constituency that he represented in 2014, said, “The Padma Shri award to Kangana Ranaut, in any case, was a major embarrassment for us because of her earlier statements and behaviour. Her Independence statement was rightly snubbed by Varun Gandhi. We fully support him though we may not be able to declare this from the rooftops.”
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Varun, earlier, has spoken in support of the agitating farmers and even tweeted a short clip of a speech made by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in support of farmers.
Last month, he was seen taking a stand against the Union Minister of state for home Ajay Misra Teni and his son Ashish Misra whose vehicles allegedly mowed down four protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in October 3.
Varun tweeted a video of the incident and wrote, “The video is crystal clear. Protestors cannot be silenced through murder. There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers that has been spilt and justice must be delivered before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer.”
Varun’s statements have not been officially countered by the BJP but the party made its displeasure clear by dropping him from the party’s national executive.
While senior leaders are unable to understand why the youngest Gandhi scion is determined to create trouble, the party cadre is buzzing with speculation about Varun’s next move.
“A Gandhi in the BJP cannot be accepted beyond a point and Varun’s growth as a political leader has been stunted in the party. I would not be surprised if he moves over to greener pastures in the coming days,” said a senior party leader who had once seen Varun ‘as the leader of tomorrow.’
There has also been talking of Varun moving over to Congress but he has already dismissed any such possibility.
The Congress workers, however, are secretly thrilled at the very idea of Varun joining the party.
“He is a grassroots leader. We have seen him connect with the party workers in Sultanpur and Pilibhit. He is politically shrewd and adequately aggressive – just what we need to revive Congress. Most importantly he is not dependent on any coterie in politics,” said a veteran expelled Congress leader.
Meanwhile, as Varun Gandhi ups the ante with his statements, BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh are wary of the damage that the party may have to suffer ahead of the state Assembly elections.
As a senior BJP MLA said on condition of anonymity, “There is no doubt that Varun Gandhi is more than just another party MP and his words will undoubtedly have an impact on the people. We are waiting for his next move and also waiting to see the party’s reaction.”