Calling candidates of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh “Pakistan ke aadmi”, BJP Pilibhit candidate Varun Gandhi has said at an election rally that people should vote in the name of Bharat Mata. In a video that surfaced on social media, Varun, the BJP’s sitting MP from Sultanpur, was campaigning for his mother and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur Saturday when he made the remarks.
He was also heard referring to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Singh Yadav who “threw out” his father and party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and spoke of “people from Saifai who picked up cow dung cakes 15-20 years ago and now drive cars worth Rs 5 crore”. Speaking to The Indian Express, Varun denied making such remarks.
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In the video of his speech, he is heard saying: “…main iss Bharat Mata ke naam pe aapse milne aaya hoon. Kya aap sab log Bharat Ma ke naam pe vote dene ko taiyyar hain? Kya aap Hindustan ke saath hain ya Pakistan ke saath hain? (I have come to meet you in the name of Bharat Mata. Are you ready to vote in the name of Bharat Mata? Are you with Hindustan or Pakistan?).” To this the crowd shouts, “Hindustan ke”.
“Nahi kyuki agar ye aapne gathbandhan ko jita diya bhaiya ye to Pakistan ke aadmi hain sab. Kya mein galat keh raha hoon? Kisne goliya maari Ram bhakton pe bataiye? (Someone from the crowd says Mulayam Singh) 500 aadmi maare. Hum bhool nahi sakte in sab baaton ko. Bhale koi aur bhoole ya na bhoole. Kya mein jhoot bol raha hoon?”
“(Because if you help the alliance win, they are people from Pakistan. Am I wrong? Who fired shots at Ram devotees? 500 people were killed. We cannot forget that even if others do. Am I lying?).”
Varun is also heard referring to Mulayam Singh Yadav that he was “cursed” and so, was beaten and thrown out of his house by his son.
“Aur isliye unko shraap pada ki unke ladke ne joote maar ke nikal diya unko ghar se. Ab bete ka public joote maar ke nikalegi. Isliye ye sab log gande hain. Ye sab log ki ek hi soch hai desh pe kabza karo aur apni jeben bharo. Ye jo log Saifai me gobar ke kande uthate the 15-20 saal pehle. Aaj ye 5-5 crore rupay ki gaadiya me chal rahe. Kya ye public ka paisa hai ke inke dada ka paisa hai bataiye? Ye aapka paisa hai… aapka.”
(That’s why he was cursed and his son threw him out of the house after beating him with shoes. Now the public will beat up the son with shoes. They are bad people. They only think about looting the country and filling their pockets. These people used to pick up cow dung cakes in Saifai and now cars worth Rs 5 crore. Is this public money or of their ancestors’? It is yours).”
When contacted, Varun denied making such comments and suggested the video was tampered. “I haven’t said anything against anyone. If you follow my speeches then I am giving secular speeches. In every speech I am saying that I want blessings of the Muslims and whether they vote for me or not, they should take my service. This is all a lie. I have not said it,” he told The Indian Express.
“These days technology is very dangerous. What is in a video, what is written or what someone said, it is not true. Who knows whose phone recorded this, how and what intent. But this is absolutely a lie. I have not said this. Absolutely fallacious. And if anyone has done something, they have morphed the video and I will take them to court.”
Incidentally, his remarks in Sultanpur come days after he courted controversy for targeting the gathbandhan candidate in Sultanpur by saying that he gets such people to “untie his shoes”. Varun’s mother Maneka was barred from campaigning for two days by the Election Commission for a speech in which she said she “will not be inclined to help Muslims if they do not vote for her”.