Thursday, May 16, 2013

Varun Gandhi\'s emotional chord with Sultanpur

May 17, 2013,Lucknow :--

At a rally during the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign, BJP leader Varun Gandhi had said that some day he will return to his father's 'karmabhoomi' — Sultanpur.

On Thursday, he did precisely that by addressing a rally in Sultanpur from where he is expected to contest the next Lok Sabha election.

"Sultanpur is my home and I assure the people here that their dreams and hardships are now mine," BJP MP Varun Gandhi declared in an obvious attempt to establish an emotional connection the people of Sultanpur.

Addressing a massive 'Swabhiman rally' at the Khurshid Club grounds, the BJP MP from Pilibhit however stopped short of announcing his candidature saying that it was a question for his party's high command to decide.

"You will always be in my heart and you can meet me, talk to me anytime you want," declared Gandhi virtually indicating his candidature from Sultanpur which is presently held by Congress MP Sanjay Singh.

In an apparent bid to treat the people of Sultanpur as "family", he left no stone unturned to stir the people's emotions. Varun even talked about the death of his 20-day old daughter last month, giving an intimate touch to his political speech.

"She was my first child. While coming here I had a heavy heart but then I thought that God has taken her away and may not give me children but the lakhs of children in Sultanpur are like my own family and I have to work for their future," he said, inviting a spontaneous round of applause from the crowd.

Varun targeted the Akhilesh Yadav government saying that over the past one year, not a single new project had been launched in Uttar Pradesh which could give employment to the youth. He equally criticized the SP and the BSP, saying that both had failed to fulfill the people's aspirations.

Sharing his dream of seeing the young joining the BJP in thousands, Varun said he would work for Sultanpur and hoped that the neighboring districts like Pratapgarh, Jaunpur and Ayodhya would also benefit.

Sultanpur district has two parliamentary constituencies, the other being Amethi which is represented by Congress vice-president and elder cousin Rahul Gandhi. Congress president Sonia Gandhi's Rae Bareli constituency is also in the vicinity.

Amethi, the safest seat for gandhis

In 1984, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was challenged by his sister-in-law and Varun's mother Maneka Gandhi in the election in Amethi (Sultanpur district) that took place after Indira Gandhi's death, Rajiv won by a huge margin defeating Maneka, who wanted to establish her claim to her late husband Sanjay's legacy.

In 1977, former PM Indira Gandhi's son Sanjay Gandhi had contested from Amethi. Both Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi started their political careers from Amethi.

Sanjay's was a debut that didn't happen because of the Emergency. He lost to Ravindra Pratap Singh of the Janata Party by a few thousand votes. However, he bounced back in the '80s elections, defeating Singh this time.

After Sanjay's death, Indira persuaded Rajiv to help her and in June 1981, he entered politics formally getting elected to the Lok Sabha from Amethi. Since then, Amethi has been the battleground for major showdowns.
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