Young BJP star Varun Gandhi has been asked to lead the party in Uttar Pradesh. His brief is to ensure a victory for the BJP in the next Uttar Pradesh assembly election in 2017.
Modi and his Man Friday Amit Shah have identified Uttar Pradesh as a key state to win if the BJP has to retain political control in India in the long term.
Varun Gandhi is the youngest BJP general secretary ever; he won the Sultanpur seat after 16 years for the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha poll. Modi apparently indicated that he could accommodate Maneka Gandhi, Varun’s mother, in his ministry and that Varun could concentrate on Uttar Pradesh.
By the afternoon of 22 May, Varun made this public saying their goal was 2017. His team announced that Varun would be the next CM of Uttar Pradesh with the slogan: Bhaiyon karo tayaree, Ab UP ki bari [Brothers get ready, now it is UP’s turn].
This has since been upgraded to the more powerful and direct: Modi desh mein, Varun pradesh mein [Modi for the country, Varun for the state]. Modi is keen on usurping the Nehru-Gandhi family banner and Varun is perfect for this. There is nothing to stop Varun from a Modi-like growth chart – big stints as chief minister leading to New Delhi.