Silence is definitely not Varun Gandhi's forte, but his poll rival from the Samajwadi Party thinks equanimity may work for him in clinching a win against the BJP leader.
Samajwadi party candidate from Pilibhit, Riaz Ahmed, who was allegedly dubbed as an Osama Bin Laden look-alike by Varun, told PTI: "My silence is my biggest weapon against his communal speeches as reacting to them would have meant playing into their (BJP's) hands and fulfilling their agenda of creating a wedge between the two communities here."
Moreover, Ahmed hopes to use "silence" to garner support from the Hindus, who many thought would tilt towards Varun following his alleged hate-speech. But the SP candidate claims people have appreciated his conduct during the controversy.
"When I go to campaign in Hindu areas, people appreciate me for not responding to his abuses as it would have caused riots and I am sure that they will also vote for me on May13," Ahmed said.
The SP candidate also attacked Varun's mother Maneka Gandhi and alleged that she was using her son to raise "communal" issues in Pilibhit to grab electoral success as she had failed to deliver in her two terms as the MP from here.
"She has done nothing for the people here in her ten-year tenure as the MP and that is why she wanted her son to raise such issues to win elections," Ahmed said.
Ahmed alleged that the whole 'drama' of Varun's surrender and his arrest was stage-managed with the support of the local administration and Chief Minister Mayawati herself.
"Varun left Delhi to come here and surrender and he crossed five to six districts before reaching here. Why wasn't he arrested soon after he entered UP? We know that all this happened on the directives of the Chief Minister," he said.
Riaz Ahmed was the target of Varun Gandhi during the latter's public rallies in Pilibhit.