EC warns Maneka Gandhi over communal remarks

The Election Commission (EC) on Monday “strongly condemned” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for her statement asking Muslims in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh to vote for her if they wanted her to get their work done after she wins from the constituency.

Ruling that her statements violated the model code of conduct (MCC) by making an appeal to “caste or communal feelings for securing votes” and also infringed the sections dealing with “bribery”, the poll panel warned her not to repeat “such misconduct in future”.

The EC had on April 15 barred Gandhi from campaigning in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections for 48 hours on account of her remarks.

Addressing an election rally in Turab Khani village, the BJP leader had said that she would not like it if she won without the support of the Muslims, and also may not get the work they required done after she wins.

Gandhi’s three-minute speech went viral on social media, leading to outrage for its “communal content”, with the Congress terming her statement “scandalous”.

However, Gandhi later maintained that her remarks were quoted out of context.

She is contesting from Sultanpur, a seat won by her son Varun Gandhi in 2014. Varun Gandhi is contesting this time from the Pilibhit constituency, from where his mother had won in 2014.