BJP President Rajnath Singh announced the party's core team today. The announcement is significant as this is the team which will play a key role in strategising for the 2014 elections.
While Narendra Modi's elevation has garnered a lot of attention, another elevation that is significant is that of Varun Gandhi who was promoted as general secretary of the BJP. Here are five quick facts about the Gandhi in BJP.
• Young gun: Feroze Varun Gandhi is currently the member of Parliament (MP) from Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh. When Varun was elected in 2009, he was only 29 years old, making him one of the youngest MPs in Parliament. The fact that at 33 years he has been elected to BJP's core committee and made general secretary at such a young age is another standout achievement. It's safe to assume that Varun Gandhi will be used by the party to appeal to young voters.
• 2009 victory: Varun Gandhi won his seat from Pilibhit on a strong note. The young BJP leader defeated his rival by a margin of nearly 3 lakh votes in the 2009 election.
• Hate speech case: Varun Gandhi was accused of hate speech during his 2009 election campaign. Two cases were lodged against Varun during the Lok Sabha polls in connection with alleged hate speeches. While one was lodged at Kotwali police station, the other was filed in Barkhera area, also in Pilibhit.
According to reports, Gandhi allegedly said, "If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless, if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes, if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand."
Earlier this year he was acquitted in both cases.
• Education: Varun has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics through the University of London External System, which is a distance-learning provision.
• Writing: Gandhi has also written a book called The Otherness of Self. The book is a collection of poems and according to this interview he gave to Outlook, Gandhi says he started writing poems at 17. On politics he says, Politics is something that governs our life. It is essential for us, especially my generation, to be aware and sensitive to the events around us.