Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has stoked a controversy by asking the Muslim community to vote for her else she will not be inclined to pay heed to their requests as a lawmaker. The Election Commission has taken cognisance of the matter, ANI reported.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development is heard “extending a hand of friendship” while emphasising that one cannot “keep giving without getting anything in return”.
Women and Child Minister #ManekaGandhi on camera says:
“I am going to win for sure. If Muslims won’t vote for me and then come to ask for work, I will have to think, what’s the use of giving them jobs.”#LokSabhaElections2019 @ECISVEEP pic.twitter.com/BHG5kwjwmQ
— Khabar Bar (@Khabar_Bar) April 12, 2019
“I am winning, but if my victory is without Muslims, I will not feel good, because then there is a bitter feeling. If Muslims come for some work after that, I will think ‘what difference does it make’. Because employment is a negotiation after all, isn’t that right? We are not Mahatma Gandhi’s children to keep giving without getting anything in return,” she told the crowd in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur. “I am extending a hand of friendship. You can ask anyone in my former constituency of Pilibhit about my work. I have already won this election, the rest is up to you.”
Concluding her appeal for votes, she said, “This is your chance to lay the foundation. When the election comes and this booth throws up 100 votes or 50 votes, and then you come to me for work we will see… do you all understand?”
Condemning the minister’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said it has now the party’s responsibility to defeat the BJP. “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!” he tweeted.
Sultanpur District Magistrate has served a showcause notice to Gandhi and a report has been sent to the poll watchdog, ANI reported.