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Can Varun Gandhi take on his cousins successfully?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 - 11:26pm IST | Agency: dna

Karan Johar wasn’t too far away when he said that it’s all about loving your family. The Gandhi family, in all its splendour and grime, makes for a far more entertaining saga than all of KJo’s films and Queen Kapoor’s telly dramas put together. But of course, with the younger generation taking over the reins from the Mme. Gandhis, we are witness to a level of people bashing that we thought existed only as housewives’ tales. Here’s taking a look at the life and times of the three younger Gandhis – Varun, Rahul and Priyanka. 

We start with the most popular among the three youngsters - Rahul, who is the Congress’ prime ministerial candidate for these general elections. Pitted against the powerhouse Modi from BJP and the forever-slapped Kejriwal from AAP, he is fighting the anti-incumbency wave amongst many other factors working against his party, this election. Moving from blooper to blooper, Rahul seems to only have a rough idea of the problems the nation faces, as a (forever) developing economy. At times, he does show a flicker of his father, the Late Rajiv Gandhi with his soft-spoken ways and his talks about decentralizing power by distributing it amongst the masses. But with Priyanka and Mme. Gandhi still calling the shots and taking a majority of the party’s important decisions (Priyanka plays key strategist), we wonder whether we’re headed to another repeat telecast of the Manmohan Singh era, if Rahul does come into power. 

A look at history, and you’d know that it is the women in the Gandhi family who tend to be more aggressive and powerful. Indira Gandhi was nicknamed the Iron woman of India, Sonia Gandhi has been the mastermind behind all key Congress’ decisions till date (claims of her making Manmohan Singh a mere stand-in PM are still floated by opponents) and Priyanka seems to carry forward the legacy. From the teenager who was seen consoling her brother after their father’s untimely death to the lady who chalks out the policies for his campaigns in Amethi, Mrs. Gandhi-Vadra makes for a doting sister. A spitting image of her grandmother, she is more ruthless (as compared to her mother and brother), analytical and perfect for the role she currently assumes within the party fold claim party insiders. From a No to a maybe, the tides of time may see her assume power and contest elections next time around.

Varun Gandhi, the son of Maneka and Sanjay Gandhi, is the least talked about Gandhi among the younger generation. He has been recently embroiled in a war of words with his cousin Priyanka over the apparent differences in their respective party ideologies. While Varun has filed nominations from Sultanpur and is contesting as a BJP candidate, Mrs. Vadra-Gandhi claims that he has gone astray. She further appealed to the public to not vote for him. He had retaliated by claiming that he had never crossed the “Lakshman Rekha of Decency” and instead of people bashing, it would be better to engage in discussions over unemployment, corruption and other issues concerning the nation. His mother, Maneka added fuel to the fire by claiming that the nation would decide who had gone astray, these elections. Bearing a strong resemblance to his father’s autocratic ways, Varun was recently acquitted of charges against hate speeches made by him in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He is alleged to have made a fellow party candidate lose the 2012 elections in UP to Samajwadi Party so as to get himself freed of all charges. Truly, the apple doesn’t fall too far away from the tree!

With all three being a part of the same family, it truly remains to be seen who emerges victorious in the coming polls. This might not only witness a change in the power equations between the brother-sister duo of Rahul-Priyanka post the polls depending on the party’s performance but also will decide Varun’s ascent (or descent) within the BJP fold.

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