Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Saturday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Maneka Gandhi, saying she should have brought up her son Varun better rather than defending him. Varun Gandhi is in jail, facing a charge of delivering campaign speeches vilifying Muslims.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Mayawati tore into Maneka Gandhi for her remarks that only a mother could understand her feelings.
Terming Maneka Gandhi's remarks "insinuating", the BSP chief said: "Let me tell Menaka that even Mother Teresa did not have children but understood the feelings of millions of children." Mayawati is unmarried.
She continued: "Rather than teaching her son some manners and telling him how to behave, she is going about defending him, which is condemnable."
Mayawati demanded that Maneka Gandhi should seek pardon from her and the entire country for the remarks made against her.
Citing rules of the jail administration, the authorities had Friday asked Maneka to not meet her son Varun in Etah jail. Following this, Maneka had said that if Mayawati had been a mother she would have understand a mother's pain.
"I want to say that Maneka is mother of one (Varun), while I take care of hundreds and understand the pain of crores of mothers," Mayawati said.
Defending her decision to slap the stringent National Security Act on Varun Gandhi, Mayawati said the action was "fully justified".
"I am fully justified in taking the most stern action against him because what he did was unpardonable, and anyone indulging in such acts, no matter how high and mighty, would receive the same treatment in my regime and will not be spared under any circumstances," the chief minister said.
Varun Gandhi, the BJP's Pilibhit candidate, is in Etah jail. He has been slapped with charges under the National Security Act following campaign speeches vilifying Muslims that have purportedly been delivered by him.