Varun Gandhi (born 13 March 1980) is an Indian politician, and a member of Parliament for Lok Sabha from the Pilibhit constituency. He is also member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and was inducted into Rajnath Singh's team in March 2012 as General Secretary. He hails from the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has occupied a prominent place in the politics of India ever since the country gained independence in 1947.
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Assumed office |
23 May 2019
|Preceded by||Maneka Gandhi|
16 May 2014 – 23 May 2019
|Preceded by||Sanjay Sinh|
|Succeeded by||Maneka Gandhi|
|Succeeded by||Maneka Gandhi|
|National General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Assumed office |
19 June 2013
|Working President||Jagat Prakash Nadda|
13 March 1980
New Delhi, India
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Yamini Gandhi (m. 2011)
|Relations||See Nehru–Gandhi family|
|Residence||New Delhi, India|
|Alma mater||University of London|
Early life and educationEdit
Varun Gandhi was born in Delhi on 13 March 1980 to Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi. He is the grandson of former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi and the great-grandson of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He is not related to Mahatma Gandhi. Varun was born soon after Indira Gandhi regained power in the 1980 general elections. Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash when Varun was three months old in June 1980. Indira was assassinated when Varun was four years old on 31 October 1984. Before his death Sanjay Gandhi had expressed his interest in raising his children in accordance to his Zoroastrian religion. Varun attended Rishi Valley School and Modern School C.P. New Delhi and the British School, New Delhi, where he ran for a position on the student council.
Early political careerEdit
Varun Gandhi was first introduced to the Pilibhit constituency by his mother during the 1999 election campaigning. Maneka had been a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) since earlier but she and Varun formally joined BJP in 2004. Varun Gandhi campaigned for the party in the 2004 elections, covering over 40 constituencies.
In an interview to Stephen Sackur in BBC's HARDTALK in October 2005, Gandhi answered questions about the reasons behind his political affiliation and defended his father as someone who had helped revive the industrialisation of India by starting Maruti Udyog and whose strategy helped the Congress party's comeback after the first ever non-Congress Janata Party government following an electoral routing for the Indira Gandhi-government after Emergency, among many other things.
As a Member of ParliamentEdit
In the 2009 general election, the BJP decided to field Varun Gandhi as its candidate from the Pilibhit constituency instead of his mother Maneka Gandhi. He won the seat by receiving 419,539 votes and defeated his nearest contending candidate, V.M. Singh, by a margin of 281,501 votes. The victory was the strongest of any of the four Gandhi family candidates in the election: his mother Maneka Gandhi, aunt Sonia Gandhi and first cousin Rahul Gandhi. The security deposits of all other candidates, including those of V.M. Singh of the Indian National Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Ganga Charan Rajput were forfeited. A case was filed against Gandhi for allegedly making a provocative speech about Muslims, at a meeting at Dalchand Mohalla area of Pilibhit, however he was acquitted by in court in the matter. On 5 March 2013, a Pilibhit court acquitted Gandhi in the second hate speech case registered against him during the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign.
In March 2013, Rajnath Singh appointed Varun Gandhi as the national general secretary of the BJP. He became the youngest ever general secretary of the party. In May 2013, Varun Gandhi was made in-charge of the BJP's affairs in West Bengal. In June 2013, Gandhi requested Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to call an emergency all party meeting in view of the calamity in Uttarakhand in which thousands of people had died. He suggested a number of step like contribution from MPLADs fund, forgoing of three months salary by MPs and tax incentives for corporate and individuals for help. He has said that he spoke to many MPs and all of them were ready to contribute. He said that the Speaker should act as a catalyst and coordinate the action plan.
In July 2013, Gandhi handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh from his salary account to family members of former Jan Sangh Member of Legislative Assembly late Bhagwati Prasad, who died at a government hospital after prolonged illness and age-related complications. The former MLA had to spend over an hour on the floor of an emergency ward before doctors at the hospital realised he was an ex-MLA and was subsequently given medical attention. His family didn't even have money to perform the last rites after his death. Varun said he came to know about Prasad only after his death. Describing the late MLA as a model of honesty, he said it was hard to find an honest leader like him.
In August 2013, newspapers reported that Gandhi was the only MP in the country who had spent all of his MP Local Area Development Fund (MPLAD) before stipulated time. According to official sources, Varun Gandhi used his funds for the development in education, health and infrastructure activities. His proposals were worth more than the entire MPLAD fund thus ensuring the entire amount of 25 crore was spent during his tenure as a Member of Parliament. His political aides stated that he submitted the proposals on time and also employed his personal team to monitor the use of money.
In September 2013, Varun Gandhi accused the Samajwadi Party-led Uttar Pradesh government of pursuing the politics of appeasement, and said that its mistakes would lead to its collapse, after it denied permission to Varun Gandhi's rally in Agra just two days before it was scheduled to take place.
He denounced Rahul Gandhi's infamous outburst against the controversial ordinance against convicted lawmakers, and said that it was an insult to the Prime Minister, who was abroad at the time, and therefore also disgraceful to the nation. He also said that if the Prime Minister had any dignity left, he should resign immediately upon his return to the country, on the day of Rahul Gandhi's outburst. In March 2014, he said that he holds no ill-will against Rahul Gandhi and won't campaign against him during Lok Sabha Election.
In February 2014, Gandhi kickstarted his campaign for election 2014 in Sultanpur. He gave an emotional speech to an enthusiastic crowd in Kadipur, and said that he had come to Sultanpur to fulfill his father's dreams.
In May 2014, Gandhi defeated Amita Singh from Sultanpur in Lok Sabha 2014 elections.
Jan Lokpal BillEdit
In August 2011, Varun Gandhi strongly pitched for the Jan Lokpal Bill. Gandhi offered his official residence to activist Anna Hazare to hold his fast, after Hazare was denied permission by the government. When Hazare was jailed, Gandhi offered to table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. On 24 August, he went to Ramlila Maidan as a common man to support the cause of Anna Hazare, becoming the first politician to openly support the anti-corruption cause.
Gandhi writes articles and policy papers for several national dailies and magazines in India, such as The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, The Indian Express, The Asian Age, The Hindu, Outlook among others. Gandhi writes the largest syndicated column in the country covering 21 newspapers – including Malayala Manorama, Lokmat, Rajasthan Patrika, Punjab Kesari, Amar Ujala, Sandesh, Bartaman, Sakshi – reaching more than 200 million readers.
Gandhi wrote his first volume of poems, titled The Otherness of Self, at the age of 20, in 2000. His second volume of poems, titled Stillness was published by HarperCollins in April 2015. The book became the bestselling non-fiction book, selling over 10,000 copies in the first two days of its release.
In 2018, he released his book on the Indian rural economy titled The Rural Manifesto: Realising India's Future through her Villages. The book sold over 30,000 copies in ten days of its release.
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- "Varun Gandhi Acquitted in Second Hate Speech Case". TimesOfIndia. 5 March 2013.
- "Varun Gandhi asks Speakar to call all party meeting, MPs to forgo 3 months salary for Uttarakhand". TimesOfIndia. 24 June 2013.
- "Varun Gandhi praises dead ex-MLA's honesty". TimesOfIndia. 25 July 2013.
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- "IF PM HAS ANY DIGNITY, HE MUST RESIGN". ZeeNews. 27 September 2013.
- "Varun Gandhi rules out campaigning against Cousin Rahul Gandhi". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- "A FIGHTING VARUN GANDHI IS ALL SET TO STORM SULTANPUR". Firstpost. 12 February 2014.
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- "Right to recall will keep MPs, MLAs on their toes", Hindustan Times, 1 March 2017
- DelhiMay 23, India Today Web Desk New; May 23, 2019UPDATED:; Ist, 2019 23:34. "Pilibhit Lok Sabha results 2019: BJP's Varun Gandhi wins by margin of over 2.5 lakh votes". India Today. Retrieved 26 May 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Varun offers house to Anna for protests". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
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- "Varun Gandhi visits Ramlila Ground to support Anna Hazare". The Indian Express. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
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