Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday appeared to have threatened the Muslim community in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, to vote for her or face the risk of not receiving her help as a lawmaker. Videos of the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s speech in Sultanpur, from where she will contest, surfaced on social media.
The Union Minister for Women and Child Development said she is winning the Lok Sabha election with or without Muslims. “I am winning, but if my victory is without Muslims, I will not feel good, because then there is a bitter feeling,” Gandhi was heard saying. “If Muslims come for some work after that I will think ‘why bother’. 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.”
Gandhi asked those gathered to spread the word about voting for her. “I am extending a hand of friendship,”she is heard saying. “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.”
On March 26, the BJP had announced that Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi would swap constituencies. He will contest from Pilibhit.