On Monday, days after Union Minister Maneka Gandhi sparked controversy for telling Muslims to “vote for her else she may not be inclined to be responsive to their requests,” her son and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi also sent out a message to the community, which is just in contrast to what his mother said.
Gandhi, who had won from Sultanpur in 2014, has now fielded from Pilibhit in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. Addressing the crowd he said, “I want to say one thing to Muslim brothers. I will feel good if you vote for me. But even if you don’t vote for me, no problem at all. You can still come to me for your work.” He then went on to add, “But if my tea gets little sugar from you, my tea will become sweeter.”
Varun’s message to Muslim voters in Pilibhit is poles apart from what Maneka had said earlier this month.
Watch Varun Gandhi’s Video
The BJP has this time swapped the Pilibhit and Sultanpur constituencies between the mother-son duo. Varun who earlier won from Sultanpur is now contesting in Pilibhit while Maneka has been given a ticket from Sultanpur.
Maneka on April 12 had said in Sultanpur that her win from the Lok Sabha constituency was certain “with or without” the support of the Muslims and that they need to understand that it is a give and take relationship.
“I am winning and I am winning with the love and support of people. However, if my victory is without Muslim votes, I won’t feel good about it. Later, if a Muslim comes to me for work, I won’t be inclined to be responsive and will let it be. However, a job is also a negotiation. After all, we are not Mahatma Gandhi’s sons that we keep on giving and still lose elections,” the union minister had said, adding, “It is not that I will keep on giving without getting your support in return in election.
Maneka was banned from campaigning for 48 hours by the Election Commission for her controversial comments.
Maneka Gandhi later clarified that her words had been twisted. “I love Muslims and I had myself called a meeting of the BJP’s minority cell. I only meant to say that I am winning the elections and their participation would be like ‘daal pe chaunka‘.”
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