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Maneka chides Varun

Pilibhit, April 3 (PTI): A day after Varun Gandhi embarrassed the BJP by “praising” cousin Rahul, his mother and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi today said her son’s remark on Amethi’s development was “not correct” and advised him to use his mind instead of heart while making statements.

The BJP MP also said that development work had not taken place in Amethi in the past 45 years. Defending her son, Maneka said he was innocent and his heart was clean.

“He is an innocent person... his heart is clean.… He would have been asked about the work done in Amethi on which he would have said whatever happened there is good”, she said. Maneka said that she had spoken to Varun, telling him that whatever he said on development in Amethi was “not correct”.

When asked whether she would advise Varun to use his mind in place of heart while making statements, Maneka said, “Yes...this is true”.

“In Amethi, expected works have not taken place in past 45 years…”, she said.

Varun yesterday praised Rahul Gandhi and the Congress leader quickly lapped up the praise, leaving the BJP embarrassed. Varun, who is the party’s youth face in Uttar Pradesh, had said that Rahul is doing good work through his self-help groups for ameliorating the status of women in his parliamentary constituency Amethi and added that he would like to do the same in Sultanpur district.

Varun, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur, had also stated that there was a need to work through such self-help groups for uplift of women.

Varun’s appreciation of Rahul came while he was addressing a group of teachers in Sultanpur on Tuesday night. Asked about Varun’s praise, Rahul said: “Varun sahi keh rahe hain” (What Varun is saying is right).

“We have been working continuously in Amethi according to a strategy... we have laid foundation of education hub... done work for farmers.... got a food park... what Varun is saying is right,” he had said.

Caught in a piquant situation, Varun later took to Twitter to issue a clarification that his comments should not be seen as an endorsement of any political party or candidate.