A day after meeting senior BJP leaders in Lucknow, union minister Maneka Gandhi arrived in Sultanpur on Saturday where she referred to the emotional bond she shared with her new constituency because of her husband Congress stalwart late Sanjay Gandhi.
“I share an emotional bond with Sultanpur and it’s because of this bond that I had sent my son Varun to serve the people in Sultanpur in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls,” she said while addressing booth presidents there.
Sanjay Gandhi had represented Amethi, of which Sultanpur was a part, and on Saturday Maneka said that if the party asked her to campaign in Amethi she would do so.
“I will campaign in Amethi in favour of Smriti Irani if the party wants me to,” she told local media persons in Sultanpur.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had moved the then Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi to Sultanpur, a Congress bastion.
Varun had registered a thumping win back then though the Gandhis had avoided crossing over and campaigning in each others’ constituencies.
Leaders close to Maneka said the union minister had wanted to shift to Karnal in Haryana to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and was desirous of getting Varun shifted to Pilibhit.
The BJP leadership, however, swapped seats of the mother-son duo, getting Varun in Pilibhit and bringing Maneka to Sultanpur, which Varun had described in 2014 LS polls as the ‘karmabhoomi’ of his late father Sanjay Gandhi.
Maneka denied any differences between her son Varun and BJP top leadership. “I was barely 19 years of age when I got married to Sanjay and became a widow when I was 23 years. My son Varun was 100 days old then when I had first brought him to Sultanpur. As an MP he got houses built from his salary for the poor in Sultanpur, something which even I couldn’t do,” she said.
Mar 30, 2021 23:24 IST