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Maneka Gandhi warned for 'Vote for me or else' remark, EC terms it “impugned”

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New Delhi, Apr 29: The Election Commission (EC) on Monday warned Union Minister Maneka Gandhi over her controversial remark in which she asked a gathering of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh's Sultanpur to vote for her or else she may not be responsive to their requests.

After studying the evidence and material facts, the EC said it strongly 'condemns the impugned statements' made by the senior BJP leader.

File photo of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi

"Based on the available evidence and material facts in the matter before the EC, hereby, strongly condemns the impugned statements made by her and warns her not to repeat such misconduct in future," EC's letter to Gandhi reportedly said.

Maneka Gandhi had said that she would anyway win the Lok Sabha elections from Sultanpur with or without Muslim votes. Then she went on to say, "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 in a video that went viral.

"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," she could heard saying in the video earlier this month.

Did Maneka Gandhi threaten Muslims for votes?

District poll authorities then issued her with a show cause notice. The Election Commission then on April 15 barred Gandhi from campaigning for 48 hours from April 17 10 am onwards.

BJP leader Yogi Adityanath and BSP supremo Maywati were also barred from campaigning over "Ali and Bajrangbali" remarks.

Samajwadi Party (SP)'s Azam Khan was also barred from campaigning for 72 hours over his "underwear" jibe at Jaya Prada who is fighting the Lok Sabha election 2019 from Uttar Pradesh's Rampur parliamentary constituency against him.

Gandhi later said that her statement was misconstrued and quoted out of context.

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