BJP leader Varun Gandhi's attacks on his mother Maneka Gandhi's opponents are getting increasingly coarse. A day after he said people like the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party's joint candidate untie his shoelace, the mercurial parliamentarian called leaders of the alliance "Pakistanis". Also in his speech was a reference to the 1990 incident in which kar sevaks, marching towards Ayodhya, were fired upon during SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav's first term as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Varun Gandhi, a lawmaker from Sultanpur, is contesting from mother Maneka Gandhi's constituency Pilibhit. She is contesting from his parliamentary seat.
Mr Gandhi was campaigning for his mother in the constituency when he said," This time, vote for Mother India. My mother is contesting the elections. She is a good person, she believes in humanity, she is honest and there is no taint on her in the last 35 years. But still, I have come to meet you on the behalf of Mother India, not for my mother," Mr Gandhi said at a public meeting.
"Are you ready to vote for Mother India," Mr Gandhi asked the people gathered to listen to his speech.
"We are ready," came the reply.
Mr Gandhi urged people not to vote for the alliance.
"...these are Pakistani people. Are they or not?" he said amid loud cheers from the crowd.
"Who sprayed bullets on Ram Bhakts (devotees)," Mr Gandhi continued.
"Mulayam Singh Yadav," someone from the crowd says.
"500 people were killed, their blood was spilled...we can't forget this," Mr Gandhi said.
On the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's call, a large number of kar sevaks from across the country had assembled in Ayodhya for the construction of the Ram temple. Mr Yadav had ordered to open fire on them. In 2017, he said that during a discussion with Atal Bihari Vajapyee, the former prime minister had said that 56 persons were killed in Ayodhya.
"I had arguments with him. In reality 28 were killed. I came to know the toll six months later and I helped them in my own way," he was quoted by news agency PTI.
"If even more people were required to be killed for the sake of country's unity and integrity, the security forces would have done it," he had added.
Varun Gandhi on Saturday made a reference to his Nehru-Gandhi lineage at a rally in Sultanpur.
"I am standing here. I am the son of Sanjay Gandhi and I get my shoelace untied by such people," he said.
Sultanpur will go to polls on May 12 in the sixth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The results will be declared on May 23.