[dropcap]B[/dropcap]haratiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian Varun Gandhi has landed into a potage following assertions of him getting “honey-trapped”. Ironically, instead of feeling ashamed about it that party’s Nehru-Gandhi scion getting into an unseemly controversy, BJP is just relieving. The serious allegations have been made in two letters sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office on August 25 and September 16 by lawyer-turned-whistle blower C Edmonds Allen, who has over the years supplied hundreds of documents to CBI and other agencies against Abhishek Verma, an accused in the infamous Navy war-room leak of 2005 and other cases. Ahead of UP elections if this matter takes a news space, it simply shows Varun is paying price for being more popular than any other BJP leader aspiring to be the CM of UP. As a result, he is being targeted by well-oiled Parivar propaganda machine. Most of the time such matters come up usually to harm people’s image and career.
In the recent past, Varun Gandhi and his mother was very vocal in praising Congress, that has irked BJP and now Varun aspires to be the CM candidate of UP, but some BJP insiders wanted to side track him. In the mid of the election campaigns, where Congress leaders are running towards BJP, the party has made another move by sending Gandhi parivar member out, Varun being a potential candidate for UP’s Chief Ministerial post. Of late, Varun’s popularity in the region is becoming more of a liability than an asset for BJP. The MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh had been pressuring the party leadership hard to anoint him its chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 state assembly elections. This had irked the party leadership. The BJP is yet to decide on the party’s chief ministerial face for the UP elections. The favourable public sentiments and euphoria in the wake of the surgical strikes conducted in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) may even lead the party to abandon the idea of announcing a CM candidate. Instead, it may contest the polls by relying on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Riding on the Modi wave just after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party had employed the same strategy in Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir, and emerged victorious. Some people opposed to him might have engineered the plan. With growing and constantly upgrading technology, such unscrupulous thugs make the credulous believe and create a doubtful situation about people.
Earlier, Varun had been trying to convince the BJP to consider his name for the CM’s post. A number of surveys conducted by different agencies projected Varun as the most popular candidate for the UP campaign. Subsequently, massive hoardings came up in Allahabad just days ahead of BJP’s June 12 and 13 National Executive meeting there. Varun supporters waged a virtual poster war on BJP to project him for the top job of the state. The posters had Varun’s face juxtaposed with those of Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. This apparently did not go down well with the BJP leadership. The once blue-eyed boy of the BJP had fallen out of favour. Leaving all other speculations and equations aside, truth should be found out and only CBI inquiry will reveal it. This should be given priority. Defence deals always have been shaded grey. Everyone, ministers or army heads, since 1971 took commission in those deals. Something, if not everything, may have transpired. Now the ways is to come clean, both the young MP and the trusted government at the centre.
The rumours on Varun are backed with CDs and photos with foreign prostitutes in compromising positions; letter alleges that Verma and his associates “compromised” and blackmailed Varun Gandhi, who was then a member of the parliamentary consultative committee on defence, and possibly other MPs, their staff as well as some officers. A US-based lawyer has alleged that his former business partner and controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma “honey-trapped” him. Though, Varun Gandhi strongly rejected all charges. Though Varun accorded importance to senior RSS leaders, he apparently ignored the local leaders in his state. In a sign of inconsistency, he has taken a sharp leftward ideological turn from being a Hindutva poster boy.
As party in-charge of West Bengal during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Varun had embarrassed the BJP by saying that there were just 50,000 people in one of Modi’s public rallies. He contradicted the party’s stand which stated that more than 2 lakh had turned up to hear the prime ministerial candidate.
However, now the scenario has changed as BJP shifted its focus from Hindutva and took heavily on Gandhi family. Now, Gandhi and Nehru’s surname is no more a popular brand. Its charm is certainly fading. He already had a bleak chance for being the CM’s face because of BJP’s unstated policy of not promoting two persons from the same family. Veteran leader Yashwant Sinha was rested and his son Jayant Sinha was given the ticket and, after he won, was made a Union Minister. Similarly, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh was not considered for a ministerial berth at the Centre. At such juncture, BJP will not defend Varun in this controversy; rather they will make his exit smooth from the party.
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