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Varun Gandhi’s roadshow in Sultanpur before filing nomination

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Sultanpur – Varun Gandhi is in Sultanpur today to file his nomination as the BJP’s candidate from the constituency, which adjoins his cousin Rahul’s Amethi.

Flower petals were showered on the youngest Gandhi as he sat on an open jeep, weaving its way through the crowds in a part of Uttar Pradesh that has always been loyal to the Gandhi family.

Varun, 34, is likely to respond to his cousin Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s comments on Sunday that he had gone astray.

On Sunday, Priyanka was heard urging Congress workers to vote against Varun, saying, “”He (Varun Gandhi) is definitely from my family, he is my brother. But he has gone astray. When a young one in the family chooses the wrong path, then the elders show them the right path, the right way. I urge all of you to show my brother the right path.”

Priyanka’s attack on Varun came days after the younger Gandhi landed in trouble with his party for praising Rahul Gandhi’s work in Amethi. The Congress leader embraced the praise, but at the instance of an upset BJP, Varun clarified later that his comments were not an endorsement of Rahul.

Rahul, Priyanka and Varun Gandhi are the grandchildren of Indira Gandhi.

Varun’s father, Sanjay, represented Amethi in Parliament when he died in a plane crash in 1980. His older brother, Rajiv, who was Rahul’s father, then represented Amethi till he was assassinated in 1991.

Varun’s mother, Maneka, fell out with Indira Gandhi after Sanjay Gandhi’s death. Varun joined the BJP in 2004, along with his mother, a move that marked a political divide in the family.

When Varun, an MP from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, shifted to Sultanpur this time, he had ruled out campaigning against Rahul in neighbouring Amethi, a constituency represented in the past by both their fathers, Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. Varun spoke of “lines of decency I would never cross.”

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