The Election Commission on Monday “strongly condemned” Union minister Maneka Gandhi for her remarks earlier this month that she categorises villages according to the way they vote for her party. The poll body said Gandhi had violated the Model Code of Conduct and sections of the Representation of the People Act.
The poll panel also warned Gandhi against repeating “such misconduct in the future”.
On April 14, the BJP leader had told villagers in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district that she will grade villages according to the number of votes she receives and will prioritise development work correspondingly.
“We win in Pilibhit every time, so what is the parameter that we work more for one village and less for the other,” Maneka Gandhi was heard saying in a video shot at a public meeting. “The parameter is that we segregate all villages as A, B, C, and D.”
The minister said that villages where the BJP will receive 80% votes will be in category A, villages where 60% votes are polled for the party will be in the second category while the other two categories will contain villages where the saffron party will get 50% votes and less. “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,” she added.
On April 15, the poll panel had banned her from campaigning for 48 hours for her communal remarks in Sultanpur. She had appeared to have threatened the Muslim community there to vote for her or face the risk of not receiving her help as a lawmaker.
Maneka Gandhi represents Pilibhit in the Lok Sabha at present and is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from her son Varun Gandhi’s constituency Sultanpur. Varun Gandhi has been given the BJP ticket in Pilibhit.