Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, triggered a major controversy on Friday when she insinuated that she won’t be able to help Muslims if didn’t vote for her but still approach her for help.
Addressing a Muslim rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur from where she is contesting the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Gandhi claimed that she will win with or without the support from Muslims.
“This is important. I am winning. I am winning because of the love and support of people. But if my victory is without Muslims, dil khatta ho jayega (Things will become sour). Then when a Muslim comes to me for work, I will think ‘let it be’, how does it matter,” she is seen telling a small crowd of supporters.
In a 1.16-minute video of her speech that was shot Sultanpur’s Turabkhani area, Gandhi is seen telling the people, “It’s all give and take, isn’t it? We aren’t all sons of Mahatma Gandhi, are we? It’s not that we keep on giving and then losing in the election. This victory will happen with or without you. I have already won this election, now it is for you to decide.”
Telling the gathering to ask people from Pilibhit, from where she is the sitting MP, of the work she has done, Gandhi told the gathering that it is up to them to decide.
Gandhi is contesting from Sultanpur, which is the parliamentary constituency of her son Varun Gandhi. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shifted Gandhi to Sultanpur, her son was given a ticket from Pilibhit.
Both Sultanpur and Pilibhit can be called bastions of the mother-son duo. Varun won from Pilibhit in 2009 – a seat from where his mother won six times.
This is the second time in the last one week that Maneka has landed herself in a controversy.
She had last week called BSP supremo Mayawati a “merchant of tickets” and accused her of taking Rs 15-20 crore from party leaders who are given tickets.