Varun’s comments against principles of Gandhi family: Priyanka (Lead)

March 23rd, 2009 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh), March 23 (IANS) Varun Gandhi’s communally volatile comments were against the traditions that the Gandhi family had “lived and died for”, his estranged cousin Priyanka Vadra said Monday, and suggested he read the Bhagvad Gita.
In comments that once again revealed the deep rift in the Gandhi family — with late prime minister Indira Gandhi’s two widowed daughters-in-law representing two ends of the Indian political spectrum — Priyanka was candid in her criticism of Varun Gandhi’s inflammatory comments while campaigning as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in Pilibhit.

“Varun’s comments are against the traditions and principles of the (Gandhi) family and he has gone against what the Gandhis have lived and died for… It made me very sad to see him saying those things on TV… What can I say?,” Priyanka told reporters in the Bachrawan Tehsil of Rae Bareli, the constituency of her mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

“I would advise him to read the Gita properly and try to understand it,” said Priyanka, on a two-day tour of the district to campaign for her mother and brother Rahul, who represents Amethi constituency.

It was a reference to Varun Gandhi’s comments at a meeting in Pilibhit where he allegedly said: “If somebody lifts a hand against Hindus, or thinks they are weak, there is nobody behind them, then I swear on the (Bhagvad) Gita that I will cut off that hand.”

In a stinging indictment of his hate-filled speeches, the Election Commission had Sunday said: “The two speeches (by Varun Gandhi) contained highly derogatory references and seriously provocative language of a wholly unacceptable nature against a certain community.”

Priyanka, a mother of two, also insisted that she had no political plans as yet.

“I am here only to campaign for my mother and my brother and have no plans to contest elections.”

Asked if if she had plans to campaign in other states as well, she said: “No plans as yet. I only come to this place for my mother and brother.”

She also rubbished claims made by Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that the central government has neglected the state in terms of developmental activities.

“The state has developed a lot and one should go around the state to have a first hand experience of the developmental activities that have taken place.”

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