Jobs are a deal and Muslims who do not vote for her should not expect to get anything in return, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi said on Friday, asking Muslims to vote for her or face the consequences. Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur, the minister said that she will be disappointed if she does not get the support of Muslims in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Maneka is contesting from Sultanpur instead of her traditional constituency of Pilibhit. Her son Varun Gandhi will be contesting from Pilibhit this election.
In a video clip, that has gone viral on social media, the minister said that she would be hurt if she doesn’t get Muslim votes. “My feelings get hurt. If Muslims then come to me asking for work, then I will think let it be, how does it matter? After all, a job is a deal,” said Gandhi.
The polarising remarks came as the perfect opportunity for the Congress ato target the BJP over its alleged anti-Muslim stand. Congress leader Sanjay Jha slammed the minister for her statement and termed it a shocking incident. Taking to Twitter, Jha said that defeating BJP was a responsibility and that Gandhi was threatening fellow Indians for the sake of votes. Tagging the Election Commission of India handle for Voter Awareness, Jha asked the poll panel to take immediate action.
WHOA!!! Just hear #ManekaGandhi talking to Muslims; it’s a shocker!!!! Worse, she says “you will need me, and I will have booth-wise details”. #BJP ko harana hamara zimmedari hain. They are threatening our fellow Indians for votes. @ECISVEEP ; Please take action ASAP! https://t.co/rGSCup0w55
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) April 12, 2019
In 2014, Gandhi had won the general elections from Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit parliamentary constituency. For 2019, the saffron party has fielded her from Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat. Her son Varun Gandhi is contesting from Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat.
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In a similar incident, another BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, has threatened voters in the name of shastras and said he would curse them if they don’t elect him to power.
On Thursday, the poll panel has issued a show cause notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for violating the model code of conduct. The poll body has asked Adityanath to respond by today evening. In his controversial speech, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between ‘Bajrang Bali’ and ‘Ali’.