Maneka Gandhi says BJP not naming her in national panel doesn't reduce her stature
Maneka Gandhi and her MP son Varun’s names were missing from the BJP's 80-member national executive committee that was announced amid the latter's criticism of the UP government's handling of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and former Union minister Maneka Gandhi said on Monday she was satisfied with her two-decade old association with the saffron camp and not being included in the all-important national executive committee did not reduce her stature in any way.
Gandhi and her MP son Varun’s names were missing when BJP president JP Nadda released the 80-member national executive committee of the party last week.
The non-inclusion seemed to have been a repercussion of Varun’s strong criticism of the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government’s handling of the violent clashes in Lakhimpur Kheri district last week in which at least eight persons, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed. The Pilibhit MP has been vocal about seeking justice for the victims.
He had posted a purported video of the incident and said the protesters could be silenced through murder. He also wrote to Adityanath, demanding immediate identification of suspects of the incident and registration of murder case and investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
Gandhi, who represents the Sultanpur contingency in the Lok Sabha, said her first religion was to serve and it was important that she made a place in the hearts of people.
"I am satisfied to be in the BJP for 20 years. Not being in the executive does not reduce one's stature. My first religion is to serve. It is more important that I get a place in the hearts of people,” the animal rights activist was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Maneka Gandhi is on a two-day visit to her parliamentary constituency.
“There are other senior leaders who also have not got a place in the executive committee. New people should also get an opportunity. I am aware of my duties and serving the people of my constituency is my first duty,” she added.
Besides the mother-son duo, the BJP has also left out Birender Singh, another sympathiser of the farmers’ cause, and Subramanian Swamy and replaced them with a new crop of leaders.
(With agency inputs)