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Business News/ Politics / News/  Lok Sabha Polls 2024 : No, says BJP MP Varun Gandhi in response to reports of contesting from Amethi
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Lok Sabha Polls 2024 : No, says BJP MP Varun Gandhi in response to reports of contesting from Amethi

Varun Gandhi, 43, the Pilibhit MP, has for long been taking a critical stand on many issues against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the centre and Yogi Adityanath-led state government in Uttar Pradesh.

BJP MP Varun GandhiPremium
BJP MP Varun Gandhi

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament (MP) Varun Gandhi has denied speculations about contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha 2024 election from Amethi, the high-profile seat in Uttar Pradesh. This seat used to be a Nehru- Gandhi family bastion for decades until 2019.

Varun Gandhi said this in response to reports suggesting that will fight the election as an independent candidate from Amethi, with outside support from the Congress and Samajwadi party alliance. 

The two parties sealed the seat-sharing formula, and Amethi and Raebareli are the two seats the Congress got in the deal.

Amethi was earlier held for 15 years by Varun's cousin Rahul Gandhi, who was defeated by BJP leader and now Union Minister Smriti Irani in 2019.  Rahul, however, won the second seat in Wayanad, in Kerala and is likely to seek re-election from there in the 2024 polls, too.

Residents of Amethi are now inclined towards Varun Gandhi, according to a report in news agency IANS. This, the report said, comes since Rahul is not keen to contest Amethi, the seat that was once won by his father in 1980.

Dissenting Voices

Varun is unlikely to be fielded by BJP in 2024 for breaking ranks. The 43-year-old Pilibhit MP has for long been taking a critical stand on many issues against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the centre and Yogi Adityanath-led state government in Uttar Pradesh.

In December, Varun slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for allowing the sale of alcohol at railway stations on the lines of liquor outlets at airports. Prior to that, in October 2023, he took on the Yogi Adityanath administration over suspending the licence of the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Amethi. Later, the Allahabad High Court stayed the suspension, eliciting praise from the BJP leader.

In 2020-21, Varun was the only BJP leader who had come out in support of the farmer protests. He also sought ‘accountability’ for the death of eight people, including four farmers, killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri after being run over by vehicles allegedly driven by Ashish Mishra, son of BJP leader and Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni.

Hours after speaking for Lakhimpur Kheri victims, Varun and his mother, Maneka Gandhi, a BJP MP from Sultanpur in UP, were dropped from the party’s National Executive Committee. Around that time, speculation was rife that Varun Gandhi might join the Samajwadi Party (SP) ahead of the UP assembly elections in 2022. But, according to sources, he chose to wait to complete his five-year term as Lok Sabha MP.

Maneka and Varun joined the BJP in 2004. Varun contested his first election from Pilibhit in 2009. In 2013, he was made general secretary of the party.

In 2021, many had linked his stand to his exclusion from the Union cabinet expansion in July of that year. Varun has been upset with the BJP earlier as well. He was reportedly annoyed with his party for being ignored before the 2017 UP polls.

Recently, Varun was seen retweeting PM Modi on the government's decision to confer Bharat Ratna on former Prime Ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao and architect of Green Revolution, MS Swaminathan.  

Hailing Indira Gandhi

In December, BJP MP Varun Gandhi praised former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, saying that a "true leader" does not take "sole credit" for victory, as he referred to India's win against Pakistan in the 1971 war.

In November, cousins Rahul and Varun met at Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand, again fuelling speculation about the BJP MP's switch to the Congress party, months ahead of the 2024 general elections. Varun had said then that he was there on a private visit.

In January 2023, however, Rahul had dismissed speculation about Varun joining the Congress.

In 2004, Sonia Gandhi left the Amethi seat for her son Rahul and moved to Raebareli. Sonia Gandhi has decided not to contest the Lok Sabha elections. Her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is speculated to contest from Raebareli. 

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Published: 26 Feb 2024, 11:12 AM IST
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