THE Congress seems to be playing a game to create confusion in the BJP ranks ahead of elections in Uttar Pradesh. The saffron brigade is hoping to wrest power from the Samajwadi Party in 2017 by taking on the might of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party. The Congress is leaderless in UP. Feroze Varun, the son of Maneka Gandhi, has emerged as the BJP’s most acceptable face in the seven surveys conducted by UP’s most prominent papers so far. However, the BJP is reluctant to project him as a possible face in UP because of his surname and several senior leaders of the party briefed journalists during the National Executive in Allahabad that there would be difficulty in accepting him as a leader in UP. There are stories being planted in different newspapers that the Congress may declare him as the candidate for the UP Chief Minister’s post. As per these stories, if Varun agrees then the trio of Rahul-Varun-Priyanka Gandhi will sweep the polls in UP. It sounds good. The reason for these rumours is that Priyanka, Robert Vadra and their daughter spent some quality time with Varun at the wedding reception of her family friend, Tehseen Poonawala, at the Meridien Hotel in Delhi a couple of months ago. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul also attended the function. Congress leaders found Priyanka’s candid interactation with Varun significant enough to spread the word. Rahul Gandhi’s key adviser and UP poll strategist Prashant Kishor is understood to have called on the BJP leader with an offer of making him the chief ministerial face of the Congress if he chooses to switch sides. Sources said that Prashant Kishor was politely told that this proposal was unacceptable and though there were family ties, politically, the cousins were on different sides of the fence.
VOL. 10, ISSUE 4 | JULY, 2016