New Delhi: BJP leader Varun Gandhi stoked a controversy on Saturday when he made a reference to his Nehru-Gandhi lineage at a rally in Uttar Pradesh and targeted Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate from Sultanpur, saying such people untie his shoelaces.
Varun was campaigning for his mother Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur when he made the remarks. “A human being without dignity is as good as dead. I just want to say that you don’t need to fear anyone except God. No one can do anything to you. I am standing here. I am the son of Sanjay Gandhi and I get my shoelace untied by such people," he said. “Nobody has the courage to speak with me in a raised voice,” he added.
“People should fear their sins and not some Monu or Tonu," he said, making an indirect reference to BSP leader Chandra Bhadra Singh, popularly known as Sonu Singh. Singh, a former MLA, and his brother Monu Singh are known to be local strongmen.
A video of the parliamentarian’s comments has gone viral on social media.
#WATCH BJP LS candidate from Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi in Sultanpur says, "Mai ek hi cheez aapko kehna chahta hoon, kisi se darne ki koi zarurat nahi hai....Mai khada hoon yaha pe, mai Sanjay Gandhi ka ladka hoon, mai in logon se apne jute khulvata hoon" (2.4.19) pic.twitter.com/LnA8kVDivu
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) 4 May 2019
Sanjay Gandhi, a powerful Congress leader during the Emergency era, was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's son and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's uncle. He had died in a plane crash in 1980. Varun, a sitting parliamentarian from Sultanpur, is contesting from his mother's seat Pilibhit. Maneka Gandhi is contesting from his.
On April 12, Maneka Gandhi, too, had stirred a huge row by telling Muslims at Turab Khani village in Sultanpur that she would not want to give them jobs if they do not vote for her.
The union minister for women and child development, while addressing a poll rally in the Muslim-dominated village, said she would not like it if she wins without the support of Muslims.
“My feelings get hurt. If Muslims then come to me asking for work, then I will think let it be, how does it matter? After all, a job is a deal,” she had said, making it clear that Muslims should not expect jobs if they don’t vote for her.