General elections in India can be a bizarre time as politicians shoot their mouths off to get votes. Netas promise the moon and stars, but union minister Maneka Gandhi isn’t one of them. This time, Gandhi seems to have decided that she will threaten people with joblessness and deprivation if they don’t vote for her. Sabka saath, sabka vikaas? Not in Pilibhit, at least.
Just days after she was caught on camera warning Muslims that she may not help them if they don’t vote for her, reports say that Gandhi has said that the development work she does in her constituency will be give-and-take.
Gandhi says she is confident that she will win, and hence the warning is for those who don’t want to vote for her. If she is to be believed, those who vote for her will get benefits, and those who don’t will get delayed benefits.
Never mind that an elected representative is supposed to work for everyone in his/her constituency, irrespective of their political stands.
ANI reported that Gandhi said in Pilibhit that villages in the constituency will be divided into categories and development work will be carried out according to the percentage of votes that the BJP gets.
“The village where we get 80% votes is A, the village in which we get 60% is B, the village in which we get 50% is C and the village where we get less than 50% is D. The development work first happens in all A category villages. After work at A category regions is done, then comes B and only after work in B is done, we start with C. So this is up to you whether you make it to A, B or C and no one should come in D because we all have come here to do good.”
Gandhi, who is the incumbent BJP MP from Pilibhit, is contesting from Sultanpur this time. Gandhi’s son Varun, who is an MP from Sultanpur, is the BJP’s Pilibhit candidate.
Gandhi’s remarks in Pilibhit come a few days after she said in Sultanpur that Muslims will be given jobs only if they vote for the BJP. She had said, “This is important. I am winning. I am winning because of the love and support of people. But if my victory is without Muslims, I won’t feel that good. Dil khatta ho jayega (Things will become sour). Then when a Muslim comes to me for work, I think let it be, how does it matter. It’s all give and take, isn’t it? We aren’t all sons of Mahatma Gandhi, are we? (laughter). It’s not that we keep on giving and then losing in the election. This victory will happen with or without you.”
“We are not Mahatma Gandhi’s children that we keep giving and not get anything in return,” she said in Muslim-dominated Turabkhani area of the constituency.
The district magistrate of Sulanpur served her a show-cause notice over the remarks.
A Congress delegation moved the Election Commission (EC) on Friday seeking action against Gandhi’s remarks. Randeep Surjewala said that the Congress had sought an FIR against Gandhi and cancellation of her nomination.