Maneka Gandhi says son Varun being denied LS ticket ‘was uncalled for’ — ‘He was a very very good MP’

Maneka Gandhi says son Varun being denied LS ticket ‘was uncalled for’ — ‘He was a very very good MP’

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maneka Gandhi has said that her son Varun Gandhi being denied a Lok Sabha ticket from his constituency Pilibhit “wasn’t called for”. 

In an interview to ThePrint, she said, “He was a very very good MP, even issue-wise and for his constituency. But I’m sure what will happen in the future, is that whatever he continues to do, it’ll be good for him, it’ll be good for India.”

As for the Congress not announcing candidates from Amethi and Rae Bareli yet, Maneka said, “they should have had a candidate there right now”.

“They’re just giving them away,” she added.

Maneka Gandhi is currently the longest serving Member of Parliament, and is fighting her 10th Lok Sabha election this year from Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur. Of the nine elections she has contested, she has won eight times. 

Asked whether she was seeking a mandate for Modi or for India, she said, “I am seeking a mandate for India.”

“It’s a combination of everything — Mr Modi, the party, me. In order for it to be successful, it would have to be a combination of everything,” she added. 

Maneka further told ThePrint that she was “clueless” about why several of the party MPs were not given tickets this time, though she was nowhere near the levers of decision-making. “If the criteria was members of Parliament who didn’t work…but it wasn’t really that criteria.”

Looking at her political career, she said she has no regrets. “Perhaps I could have done things better, but I took great pains to do whatever I could do to improve the situation whenever I was.” 

Also Read: With Varun Gandhi out of the picture, PM Modi to canvass for BJP’s Jitin Prasada in Pilibhit

‘People trust me’

Maneka told ThePrint that no elections are never a walk in the park, but asserted that she is “never off election mode”. 

She said that the issues that she focuses on during elections are of two kinds. One, she said, are the bigger needs of the people, like more roads, a bypass, a train. The second issue, she said, are the solutions to their individual problems. She said the second was more important to her.

“Thousands of people come to me. Somebody has had their land seized by a neighbour, somebody is sick and doesn’t know what to do…They come with small, individual issues. They trust me to solve them, and I do,” she said.  

During the first term of the Modi government, Maneka was in charge of the Women and Child Development Ministry, but was kept out in the second term. However, she says that for her, there is no such thing as a light or heavy portfolio. “I take whatever, and if I’m not a minister, I still do the best I can, whatever I can. It just gives me more time to concentrate on the things that are closest to my heart.”

She further said: “The light portfolio became a heavy portfolio, and it was the only thing that changed India in the sense that the ‘Beti Bachao’ worked, so now people do not get rid of girl children. So I was very proud of that change.”

Met Amit Shah over Section 377

On the new Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita not having a provision similar to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes bestiality, she said she was “confused” by the same and went to see Home Minister Amit Shah about it. 

On the burning topic of the ‘stray dog menace’, she said one should get rid of the word “menace”. 

“There is only one menace, that is the human menace, which threatens every other form of life. But the stray dog problem which is emerging can be solved very easily by an infusion of money,” Maneka said.

She added: “There are no institutions for sterilisation…Municipalities that want to do it get hold of illegal NGOs who know nothing. They pick up dogs, sterilise them, throw them somewhere else, so the bites increase…The sterilisation programme is possibly the worst run programme in India because there is no money. The government puts in zero.”. 

“The more illegal sterilisation takes place, the worse the biting situation gets. But if the government were to do this in a systematic, intelligent manner, within three years, we would control the entire issue,” the MP said.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

Also Read: Praising Modi, sharing stage with local BJP leaders, 2024 ushered in a ‘softened’ Varun Gandhi


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