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Uttar Pradesh

Weeks after Union Minister Maneka Gandhi threatened to neglect places in Sultanpur that do not vote for her in the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission on Monday “strongly condemned” and warned her against making remarks aimed at intimidating or bribing voters in the constituency.The EC maintained that Gandhi had violated the Model Code of Conduct and sections of the Representation of the People Act.

Earlier on April 15, Gandhi was banned for 48 hours from campaigning for warning the Muslim community in Sultanpur that she will not work for those who fail to vote for her.

On April 14, she had told villagers in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district that she will be grading the villages according to the number of votes she receives in the election and according to that, she will be prioritising development work in each village. She had said “We win in Pilbhit every time, and let me explain our parameters for deciding which village to prioritise in matters of developmental work. We segregate villages into categories A, B, C and D. Villages where we get 80% votes are slotted in category A, 60% in category B, 50% in category C, and less than 50% in category D. Development work is taken up first in category A villages, followed by category B and category C. So it is up to you to decide whether your village should come in category A, B or C, because we have all come here to do good”. The Election Commission cited the video recording of this speech in its order issued on Monday.It has also warned Gandhi against repeating “such misconduct in the future”.

EC’s move comes on the day when the Congress has moved the Supreme Court against the Commission, alleging reluctance on its part to take action on “poll code violations”by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

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