Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has been served a show-cause by the District Magistrate of Sultanpur, from where she is contesting the Lok Sabha elections, over her controversial remarks telling a gathering of Muslims to vote for her or face the risk of not receiving her help after she is re-elected as minister.
“The Election Commission has taken cognisance of the matter. District Magistrate has issued a show-cause notice to her and a report has been sent to the EC,” said B R Tiwari, Additional Chief Election Officer.
Addressing a gathering of Muslims in Sultanpur’s Turabkhani area on Thursday, Gandhi had said claimed she is all set to win and told the audience that “you might need me tomorrow.”
“I am winning. I am winning because of the help and love of the people. But if my victory is without the Muslims, I will not feel very good,” she said, adding that she will be left with a bitter feeling.
“If Muslims come for some work after this, I will think why bother, what difference will it make,” she added.
Suggesting that it was matter of give and take, she added, “We are not Mahatma Gandhi's children to keep giving without getting anything in return.”
The Congress reacted strongly with its spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala saying the Bharatiya Janata Party leader is trying to divide people on the basis of caste and community.
The party approached the Election Commission in Delhi and handed over a memoranda on a host of issues, including Gandhi's remarks.
Sources in the UP election office said she will have to respond to the notice sent by the district poll authorities within three days.
They cited paragraph 1 the model code of conduct that forbids parties and candidates from indulging in “any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic".
(With PTI inputs)