The Election Commission has taken cognisance of the leader’s speech and asked Maneka Gandhi to explain her remark.

BJPs Maneka Gandhi issued notice for no vote no work remark to Muslim votersPTI
news Controversy Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 10:19

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi was on Friday issued a show-cause notice by the Election Commission over her remarks at an election rally. She had appeared to almost threaten the Muslim community in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh that she would not work for them if they did not vote for her.

Sultanpur's District Magistrate issued the notice after the Election Commission took cognisance of the matter and asked Gandhi to explain her remarks, ANI reported. Maneka later clarified that her remarks were taken out of context.

Addressing an election rally in Turab Khani village, the BJP leader said that she would not give jobs to Muslims if they did not vote for her. She also said that she would not like it if she won without the support of the Muslims.

“This is important. I am winning. Because of people’s help, their love, I am winning. If my win will be without Muslims, I won’t like it because, this much I will tell you, that the heart becomes sour (dil khatta ho jaata hai). Then when a Muslim person comes for work, I think let it be, how does it matter. After all, giving work is also a negotiation. Am I right or no? It’s not like we’re all the sixth child of Mahatma Gandhi that we come and keep on giving, and then take a beating during the elections. Am I right or not? You’ll have to recognise this. This victory will be with or without you, and you’ll have to spread this everywhere,” the BJP leader was heard saying.

Gandhi's three-minute speech went viral on social media, leading to outrage, with many calling the remark blatantly communal. The Congress has termed Gandhi's statement "scandalous". The MP later clarified that a truncated version of her speech was made public.

“If you listen to the whole speech... a media channel has shown my incomplete speech and it is out of context. If you see my full speech you will see that it was full of love,” she said, adding that when PM announced various schemes in the past 5 years, such discrimination never happened.  

Maneka Gandhi is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from Sultanpur, a seat won by her son Varun Gandhi in 2014. Varun Gandhi is contesting from Pilibhit, from where his mother had won in 2014.