Maneka hits campaign trail in Sultanpur, mum on son’s plans : The Tribune India

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Maneka hits campaign trail in Sultanpur, mum on son’s plans

Sultanpur votes in sixth phase on May 25

Maneka hits campaign trail in Sultanpur, mum on son’s plans


Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, April 2

Outgoing Lok Sabha’s senior-most parliamentarian and former women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday hit the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur days after she was re-nominated from the segment by the ruling BJP, which denied her son Varun Gandhi’s candidature from neighbouring Pilibhit.

“Ask Varun what he wants to do. We will consider these things after the elections. There is time,” Maneka said when asked about the future plans of her son and sitting Pilibhit MP. Importantly, Maneka showered generous praises on PM Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda for giving her the ticket. “I am the BJP candidate from Sultanpur again. I am grateful to the party president, the PM and all MLAs. I am very happy that I have come to Sultanpur again,” Maneka (67) said.

The eight-time MP will be in Sultanpur for 10 days starting Tuesday and will visit 101 villages of the entire segment in a bid to reach as many voters as possible. Sultanpur, which will vote in the sixth phase on May 25, has not returned a sitting MP to the Lok Sabha since 1998.

BJP’s Devendra Bahadur Rai has been the only candidate in Sultanpur’s poll history to win the seat twice in a row — 1996 and 1998.

Conscious of the challenge of a re-nomination from the tricky seat, Maneka began her campaign by offering tributes at the memorials of Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Deendayal Upadhyay, both saffron ideologues.

Maneka had shifted to Sultanpur in the previous LS poll to make way for son Varun, the then sitting MP in Sultanpur, who was on a weak wicket. Varun shifted to Pilibhit, a safe seat for the family. Maneka had won Pilibhit for the first time in 1989 on the Janata Dal ticket.

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