Rahul throws Varun Gandhi in no man’s land

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 17: The Bharatiya Janata Party MP in the Lok Sabha Varun Gandhi now has limited options after former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi drew the red line for him. Rahul Gandhi in his presser in Punjab on Tuesday made it clear that the BJP MP would not be acceptable to his party. There has been media speculation about the likely move of Varun Gandhi following his marginalisation in the BJP.

“At one time, Varun Gandhi accepted the RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh) ideology. This is unacceptable to me. You will have to cut my head, but I won’t go to the RSS,” Rahul Gandhi stated in an unequivocal assertion that the BJP MP shouldn’t look for Congress as an option.

Rahul Gandhi was seen eloquent and more than obliging in trashing all speculations about Varun Gandhi. “The ideology that he embraced at a certain time is not acceptable even to my family,” added Rahul Gandhi. He, however, maintained that there could be personal relations and he can even hug Varun Gandhi. But on political affiliation or joining of hands, including the prospects of Varun Gandhi taking part in the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, Rahul Gandhi made it clear that such possibilities didn’t exist.

Varun Gandhi is seen to have not figured in the scheme of things in the BJP since the advent of the Narendra Modi and Amit Shah duo. Political observers note that Varun Gandhi has an uncertain future in the BJP, including the likelihood of his getting the Lok sabha nomination in the 2024 general elections.

Varun Gandhi had once been the BJP’s Hindutva poster boy after he was taken by the party patriarch LK Advani as his protégé following which he had been a regular in the function of the RSS, besides making provocative polarizing election speeches during elections. But he has in the recent years transformed into a saner voice, advocating reconciliation in conflicts as had been the case during the farmers’ agitation and the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which a few of the protestors were crushed to death.

Maneka Gandhi, mother of Varun Gandhi, was not taken into the Council of Ministers after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while she had been a Cabinet Minister in the first term of Modi. Varun Gandhi has often struck discordant notes with the BJP on a number of issues in the last couple of years.

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