Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh), April 2: BJP leader Varun Gandhi Wednesday clarified that he was not backing his cousin Rahul Gandhi after remarks he (Varun) made overnight appeared to suggest that.
Varun Gandhi, 34, told a group of teachers and NGO activists Tuesday night: “I want to bring a new form of politics. The way Rahulji has worked successfully in Amethi… though I haven’t seen his work from inside.”
He said he had heard that programmes on empowering people carried out in Amethi, which Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi represents in the Lok Sabha, were “fairly decent”.
On Wednesday, after his remarks created a flutter, Varun Gandhi took to twitter to say: “It should NOT be seen as an endorsement of any political party or candidate.”
Varun Gandhi’s clarification came after Rahul Gandhi lapped up the praise.
“Whatever Varun is saying is right,” Rahul Gandhi said in Rae Bareli Wednesday. “I am very happy that other people are appreciating the work in Amethi.
“The work we have done has been done in a strategic manner, to connect the farmers of Amethi with the rest of the world,” Gandhi added.
Rae Bareli, Amethi and Sultanpur have been traditionally considered the strongholds of the extended Gandhi family.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was elected from Rae Bareli and Rahul Gandhi from adjoining Amethi in 2009. Varun Gandhi, elected from Pilibhit in 2009, has now shifted to Sultanpur.
BJP leaders refused to comment on Varun Gandhi’s remark.
Rahul, 43, and Varun Gandhi are the grandsons of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Varun’s father, Sanjay, represented Amethi in parliament when he died in a plane crash in 1980.
Later, Sanjay’s elder brother and Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi made Amethi his constituency. Varun Gandhi and his mother Maneka Gandhi are with the BJP.