Varun Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have started taking potshots at each other when the high octane campaign for the 16th Lok Sabha election has reached its nadir. Varun Gandhi is a sitting BJP MP from Pilibhit who is contesting election this time from Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh on a BJP ticket. His cousin Rahul Gandhi is contesting from his family's traditional pocket-borough Amethi.
Rahul Gandhi is battling a massive anti-incumbency in this election. Sensing the need for a change, the BJP has fielded the popular television face Smriti Irani to take on Rahul Gandhi. The people of Amethi are spoilt for choice this time around. And the final outcome of this crucial Lok Sabha election can very well spring a surprise or two for the Gandhi family.
The sister Priyanka has taken it upon herself to ensure that her brother Rahul Gandhi comes out smelling of roses. And as they say everything is fair in love war, Priyanka Gandhi has started firing salvos at her estranged cousin Varun Gandhi. The reality is Rahul and Varun are not directly pitted against each other. Moreover, Varun Gandhi has put it on record saying that he will never personally attack his cousin. But it is Priyanka Gandhi who has opened a whole Pandora's box with her gone astray remark first.
Varun Gandhi has remained unruffled so far because he is at pains to understand why his cousin should indulge in personal attacks especially when the face-off is not direct between them. He does not want to cross the self imposed Lakshmanrekha of decency as far as the family feud is concerned. On the contrary, he wants to concentrate on the burning issues like unemployment, corruption and poverty.
It is surprising to see Priyanka Gandhi invoking ideologies while attacking her cousin personally without any provocation. She wants the voters to teach her cousin a lesson in this election. When all the chips are down, the Gandhi family suddenly remembers secularism and starts asking for votes in the name of secularism even though the brand of secularism it believes in raises heckles regularly.
Similarly Priyanka Gandhi has raked up ideologies to befool the voters. The BJP General Secretary Varun Gandhi is right to debate the issues of corruption, poverty and unemployment instead of unwarranted personal attacks. This young MP from Pilibhit has done his home work and he knows what will work with the voters.
This 16th Lok Sabha election is about development versus corruption. His party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has set the agenda for this election. The Congress is leaving no stone unturned to deviate from this agenda so as to camouflage its shenanigans.
Priyanka Gandhi has realised that saving her brother's Amethi seat will take more than hard work. This is a fierce battle for protecting her family's turf. The voters are disenchanted and they are exploring other options. By slinging mud at Varun Gandhi using ideologies, if she thinks that she will be able to save Rahul blushes when the ballot boxes are opened, she will be in for a big surprise.
The Indian voter is smart and he will not fall for this ideology trap. Nor the family saga will divert his attention from the task at hand. It will be surprising if the voters end up teaching Rahul Gandhi a lesson instead of Varun Gandhi as demanded by Priyanka Gandhi. Her advice and unsolicited barbs at Varun Gandhi may come to haunt Rahul Gandhi if Priyanka does not watch out what she says.