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I’m better than Varun, will keep admin on toes: Maneka Gandhi

“I am less of an MP and more of a mother. I have the key to all your locks, to all your problems,” said Maneka.

, TNN|
May 01, 2019, 10.47 AM IST
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Maneka123
(This story originally appeared in on May 01, 2019)
Mein Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. Mein Sultanpur ek nayi-naveli dulhan ki tarah aayi thi, unnees saal ki umar mein, apne pati ke saath (I’m Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. I came to Sultanpur as a new bride, all of 19, accompanied by my husband),” the seven-time MP, Union minister and BJP candidate tells a gathering at a nondescript village in Dhanpatganj block in Sultanpur constituency, over a screeching microphone.


Sanjay Gandhi had represented Amethi in 1980, when Sultanpur was a part of it.

She adjusts her saree against the dusty wind at 42 degrees, ticks off the man at the sound box and continues. “My husband got a sugar mill, a hospital and the Gomti bridge to Sultanpur. Then he died, leaving me with a threemonth-old child, who too like his father, grew fond of Sultanpur and worked here.”

This is her first meeting on Sunday in Mathiya village and her speech is the template for the next 17 meetings across the rugged terrain: her connect with Sultanpur, her work as Pilibhit MP and how ‘Ma Maneka’ should be looked at independent of her son and sitting MP, Varun Gandhi.

“I am less of an MP and more of a mother. I have the key to all your locks, to all your problems,” the 62-yearold says. Only minutes before, she had taken the youth wing to task for gathering mostly children and the elderly for the nukkad sabha.

At Sevra, Maneka’s punctuality catches the organisers off guard. “Villagers were asked to come at 2pm for the noon meeting,” frets one of her aides. On seeing empty chairs, Maneka zooms ahead and returns to Sevra later.

“This is the area of my competitor (SP-BSP candidate Chandrabhadra Singh). So, getting anyone to work here is a task. This is going to make my entire day miserable,” she told TOI.

At the last sabha of the day at Ram Lila Maidan, she says, “Pilibhit had the highest turnout in UP, at 67.4%. Should the mother get lower polling than the son?” Varun worked hard, she says, but “he too like other MPs did not do so in tandem with the administration. I keep the administration on its toes.”

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