Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who had last month triggered a controversy by telling Muslims that she won’t work for them if they don’t vote for her, on Wednesday said she feels bad when they say that they won’t vote for “lotus”. She also clarified that her earlier remarks were taken out of context.
Maneka said she had only stressed that while working she never gives any importance to caste and religion but feels bad when people say that they will not vote for her as they do not want to vote for “lotus”.
“Wherever I’ve gone, I’ve thought of all religions and castes. When we work, we work for all and that time nobody is concerned about lotus, but when it is time to vote and people tell us that they will not vote for me because they don’t want to vote for the lotus symbol, it feels very bad,” the minister was quoted as saying by PTI.
Talking about the ban imposed on her by the Election Commission from campaigning for 48 hours last month for her remarks, Maneka said, “It was totally out of context….. You have heard my speeches.”
Asked as to why she has swapped constituency with son Varun Gandhi, who is now contesting from Pilibhit, she said it was the party’s decision and she will continue to take the development works ahead.
Last month, Maneka Gandhi at a rally told Muslims to vote for her as they will need her once the Lok Sabha elections are over. “We are not Mahatma Gandhi’s children that we keep giving and not get anything in return,” she said in Muslim-dominated Turabkhani area during campaigning.
Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency, claimed she is all set to win and told the Muslim audience that “you might need me tomorrow”.
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