Varun Gandhi: an art lover, LSE grad, now a Hindu hawk

March 18th, 2009 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Varun Gandhi, who has touched off a controversy with his provocative speeches just as he takes his first baby steps in electoral politics, is an art lover and has penned a book of poetry.
The 29-year-old Gandhi, say sources close to him, not only has original paintings by noted artists like M.F. Hussain but also several upcoming painters. His book of poems was called the “Otherness of self.”

Varun, who claimed before reporters Wednesday that the voice and the language in the incendiary CD was not his, reads and speaks Spanish fluently. He went to Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh.

His electoral debut from the Pilibhit constituency, nurtured for well over 20 years by his mother Maneka Gandhi and vacated for him, was believed to be the first step as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) grooms him to take up important responsibilities in Uttar Pradesh.

Varun, who many say could have easily won the seat riding piggyback his mother’s work in the constituency from where she was returned five times, lives a sheltered existence with Maneka Gandhi at 14, Ashoka Road in the national capital.

Gandhi, who studied law and economics at the London School of Economics, is already a national executive committee member of the BJP and was to be fielded from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh during a by-election there in 2006.

“It was decided later that he should rather focus more on Uttar Pradesh,” a BJP leader said, requesting anonymity.

Gandhi, who also went to School of Oriental and African Studies in London, is known to his friends as a soft-spoken person and some of them believe he cannot make remarks like he did against Muslims in a campaign speech.

Facing a criminal complaint for his allegedly rabid speech, Varun is unapologetic, calling himself a proud Hindu and a nationalist. He also told reporters there is a “political conspiracy” against him and that the CD doing the rounds was doctored.

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