New Delhi: Varun Gandhi’s poster war on the BJP is not dying anytime soon.
In a move which is indicative of things to come in Uttar Pradesh, BJP UP chief, Kesav Prasad Maurya, has reprimanded around 18 workers who were active in putting thousands of posters of Varun Gandhi all over Allahabad, where BJP’s high-profile National Executive meet was held from June 12 to 13.
Apart from this, a show cause notice has been issued to two active workers of the party and a report has also been sent to BJP national president, Amit Shah.
This came soon after the news that Varun Gandhi, the Sultanpur MP, had left Allahabad at around 2.30pm and had not waited for a dinner meeting with BJP president Amit Shah, along with MPs from Uttar Pradesh that was scheduled post the prime minister’s rally.
Though people close to Varun Gandhi tried to downplay the event stating that this was just another gathering and since the information came late and they had already made the reservation to Delhi, his not coming to the meeting has not gone down too well with the party.
A BJP MP who was part of the meeting said, “Several MPs came all the way to Allahabad especially for this meeting. If a person of stature of Varun Gandhi skips a meeting which is attended by Dr Krishnagopal, Amit Shah, Murli Mahohar Joshi, general VK Singh, et al, on the pretext that his tickets were booked before, it doesn’t look convincing.”
Another BJP MP from UP, on condition of anonymity, said: “The character of the party has changed a lot in the last three years and the kind of assertion which is being made by Varun Gandhi is definitely not going down well with both state and central leaderships. He is making it worse by skipping these kinds of meetings to which a lot of importance is being attached by the party high command, especially Amit Shah.”
What is making matter worse for Varun Gandhi is the kind of response he is getting from the BJP state unit, especially from the eastern UP side.
Already a miffed UP BJP chief, Keshav Prasad Maurya, had send a report to party headquarters on how Varun Gandhi had been transgressing his limits by interfering in other issues.
Sources said that Varun was told to take permission from the party before hosting any programme outside Sultanpur, which is his parliamentary constituency. But the matter doesn’t quite end here.
Sources have told that in the dinner meeting with the UP BJP MPs, the Allahabad MP – Shyama Charan Gupta – told Amit Shah and others present in the gathering that Varun Gandhi was getting his posters plastered all over city and was projecting himself as the CM candidate. Gupta also said that when he protested, “Varun’s supporters threw eggs and tomatoes” at his house.
However, it is not that Varun Gandhi doesn’t have any support going for him. But even here, people who are supporting him are in the cold storage of the party.
BJP MP, Shatrughan Sinha, who had come to attend the National Executive meet on day two, praised Varun Gandhi and called him a “dynamic young leader of UP whom people loved a lot”.
Sinha said: “I know Varun personally. Whether he is a CM face of the BJP, it will be decided by the parliamentary board.”
However, according to top sources in the BJP, the party is not very enthused by this open and aggressive stand taken by Varun Gandhi. They say that in the middle of all the permutations and combinations of fragile caste calculations being worked out by the party, an aggressive demand to be made the CM candidate is the last thing that the party is looking for.
They also say that this thing sends a negative message to the party cadre and people at large that all is not well within the party.
Though the party high command dismisses these incidents as having zero electoral impact, they still admit that these issues are something which could have been completely avoided.
As per the top tier of the BJP, it should be work that should be speaking for itself and not the posters.