Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has reportedly suggested that her son Varun Gandhi be made the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Addressing a public meeting in her parliamentary constituency of Pilibhit, Sunday, Maneka said that it would be better if Uttar Pradesh government was headed by the BJP, and even better if Varun Gandhi was governing the state.
She made the remarks while blaming the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party for the slow pace of development in the state. Maneka said of Varun: "I think he is doing very well. It's his second time as Member of Parliament and he is very comfortable in it. He does a lot of reading. He writes articles for a large number of newspapers. He is a very well informed young man and I am happy with his progress."
While the BJP is yet to officially react to her statement, BJP's UP chief Laxmikant Bajpai said, "This (Varun for CM) is Maneka Gandhi's personal opinion, too premature to comment on such issues." Apparently sensing trouble, Varun himself has played down his mother's comments with media reports quoting him as saying, "It's not my mother's stand, it is a vivid media report."
Varun has reasons to worry as his projection as a possible CM candidate may have come a bit early in the race. A Member of Parliament from Sultanpur, Varun has been active in the party as general secretary and is tipped to find a place in the new team being put in place by Amit Shah. However, given the intense competition for the Chief Minister's chair, it remains to be seen whether Maneka's move to gain early advantage will prove beneficial or backfire.