Is BJP MP Varun Gandhi going to join the Congress and boost soon-to-be-president Rahul Gandhi’s prospects against PM Narendra Modi in 2019 General Election? The BJP Member of Parliament from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh hasn’t said a word himself, but a report by India Today has quoted Congress leaders in the state as saying that the Gandhi family reunion is very much on the cards and it will happen before 2019 polls. Hazi Manzoor Ahmed, senior Congress leader, told India Today that Varun “could be” inducted in the Congress as a member or an office bearer and Priyanka would play the catalyst in effecting the reunion after around 35 years. The BJP MP, who is the son of Rahul Gandhi’s uncle late Sanjay Gandhi, is said to be sidelined by the saffron party leadership. He has recently been critical of some Modi government’s initiatives. However, his mother Maneka Gandhi continues to be a Union minister in the Modi government. While highlighting that Varun has never openly attacked his counsin Rahul, UPCC memebr Ram Tandon said that “it is likely” that the BJP MP would join the Congress.
Varun is seen making comments away from the party line in the recent time. Recently, he had said that Rohingya Muslims should be allowed entry in India after security vetting, evoking a sharp reaction from his party. Reacting to his remarks, Union minister Hansraj Ahir said those who have national interest in mind should not make such statements. Ahir’s criticism came after Varun expressed his views in an article in a Hindi daily. The controversy further snowballed as Varun tweeted that his article focused primarily on defining India’s asylum policy, with clear demarcations on how “we would accept refugees”.
Varun had also criticised the ‘politics of farm loan waiver’. He has said that issuing loan waivers can have harmful impact, as it breeds “credit indiscipline” among farmers and leads to a “shortfall in rural credit growth.” Writing in The Hindu, he explained why politics of agriculture loan waivers cannot continue for long. According to Varun, the introduction of country-wide farm loan waiver in 1990 had a “deleterious impact” on rural credit provision. It provided a “short-term palliative while breeding credit indiscipline among farmers.” This led to a “shortfall in rural credit growth.”
Allegedly sidelined in the saffron party for over some time, offlate, Varun is making headlines for some right reasons. The Sultanpur MP had recently criticised dynansts in politics. He had said that there is a need to infuse fresh blood from non-political backgrounds into the Indian political system. Varun made headlines for acknowledging that his surname had made it possible for him to gain a foothold in politics.