A day after Union Minister Maneka Gandhi stirred a row with a controversial statement at a rally in Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, a show cause notice was issued to her by the district poll authorities and the matter is with the Election Commission (EC).
On Thursday, Maneka had told Muslims to vote for her or else she may not be inclined to be responsive to their requests.
"The EC has taken cognisance of the matter. The District Magistrate, Sultanpur, has issued a show cause notice to her and a report has been sent to the EC," said BR Tiwari, Addtional Chief Election Officer.
During a rally in Sultanpur Maneka had said, "I am winning and I am winning with the love and support of people. However, if my victory is without Muslim votes, I won't feel good about it. Later, if a Muslims comes to me for work, I won't be inclined to be responsive and will let it be. However, a job is also a negotiation. After all, we are not Mahatma Gandhi's sons that we keep on giving and still lose elections."
Maneka further said that Muslim voters need to understand that it is a give and take relation. "It is not that I will keep on giving without getting your support in return in elections. We are not children of Mahatma Gandhi," she said.
She further added that she has already won the elections, but told the gathering that if they need her, then this is their chance to lay the foundation. "When the election comes and this booth throws up 100 votes or 50 votes, and then you come to me for work we will see. I don`t see any divide, I see only pain, sadness and love. So it is up to you...," she said.
Maneka's speech at Saharanpur went viral on social media and led to an immense outrage for its blatant communal content with Congress terming her statement as 'scandalous'. She is contesting from Sultanpur, a seat won by her son Varun Gandhi in 2014. Varun, on the other hand, is contesting from his mother's seat Pilibhit.
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.
Maneka Gandhi's remarks follow other controversial references to the Muslim electorate during the Uttar Pradesh campaign.
At her recent election meeting in Saharanpur's Deoband, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati asked Muslims to support her alliance with the Samajwadi Party, instead of splitting their vote by opting for the Congress.
In a rejoinder to this remark, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath brought up the controversial 'Ali-Bajrang Bali' reference at an election rally. "If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, we have faith in Bajrang Bali," Aditynath said.
Lord Hanuman is called Bajrang Bali while Ali is a revered figure in Islam.
The Election Commission sent Adityanath and Mayawati notices on what could be violations of the model code of conduct. The poll code came into force on March 10 when the Lok Sabha polls were announced.