Varun Gandhi, who had to issue a clarification after his praise for estranged cousin Rahul Gandhi’s work in Amethi upset the BJP, has received advice from his mother Maneka – “use your brain more than your heart.”
Maneka Gandhi said, “I have myself gone to Amethi and there is no development there. Nobody should comment on something unless you see it with your own eyes. Some people might have told him that good work has been done in Amethi and he said it. It is not right.”
Varun, 34, the BJP’s candidate from Sultanpur, landed in trouble after he told a group of activists on Tuesday, “I want to bring in a new form of politics. We need small-scale industries, the kind of self-help groups that Rahul-ji has set up successfully in Amethi, though I haven’t seen his work personally.”
Hours later, reportedly questioned by his party, he tweeted, “It should NOT be seen as an endorsement of any political party or candidate.”
Maneka Gandhi said Varun had told her that “people asked him to say this.”
His comments were embraced by Rahul, 43, who is running for Parliament from Amethi for the third time in a row. “What Varun is saying is right…I am very glad that others are appreciating the work I’ve done in Amethi,” the Congress vice president said in Raebareli yesterday.
When Varun, an MP from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, shifted to Sultanpur this time, he ruled out campaigning against Rahul in neighbouring Amethi, a constituency represented in the past by both their fathers, Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. Varun spoke of “lines of decency I would never cross.”
Varun and Rahul are the grandsons of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.