Monday, May 27

Maneka Gandhi In Sultanpur: The Political Life Of An Environmentalist And Animal Rights Activist

Edited by Uzma Parveen

Maneka Gandhi contesting the Lok Sabha election 2024 from Sultanpur Lok Sabha Constituency to be held on May 25, 2024 (Phase 6) on the BJP ticket. Samajwadi Party fielded Ram Bhual Nishad from Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency against Maneka Gandhi.

Maneka Gandhi, the widow of Indian politician ‘Sanjay Gandhi’ has been a four-time minister and most recently under the BJP government. She is the current MP from Sultanpur constituency. She is an environmentalist and an animal rights activist. Maneka received her education from Lawrence School, Sanawar, Lady Shri Ram College for Women and JNU, New Delhi.

Maneka Gandhi has been vocal against the Congress party and its policies from the beginning of her political career. While campaigning for the upcoming elections, Maneka Gandhi targeted the Congress party and its job promise. She said, that the local people will not get jobs in the industries set up in Amethi and Rae Bareilly. While talking to the BBC, Maneka attacked Congress’ brother and sister duo, and her nephew and niece, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi for not being evolved enough as politicians.

She was married to Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son of Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi, who died at an early age of 33 in a plane crash in 1980. Sanjay Gandhi was considered to be the political heir of Indira Gandhi and once an MP of Amethi, the former Congress bastion.

However, her relationship with Indira Gandhi gradually went to the troubled waters after Sanjay’s death, and she was eventually forced out of the prime minister’s residence after a fallout with Indira, according various accounts. This, along with her continuous troubles with Mrs Gandhi, prompted her to form a political party, Rashtriya Sanjay Manch, in 1983, but had little luck with the party. Then she joined VP Singh’s Janata Dal in 1988, and BJP in 2004. Since then, she was elected to the lower house of the Parliament several times after her debut defeat in Amethi vs Rajiv Gandhi in 1984. She has represented Aonla, Piliphit and Sultanpur since her first win in 1989.

Her only son, Pherose Varun Gandhi, who joined BJP along with her in 2004, is currently the MP from Piliphit. He had represented Sultanpur and Piliphit in the elections held before that. However, Varun Gandhi was dropped from the BJP candidate list this time.

Sultanpur Lok Sabha Constituency

The Sultanpur Lok Sabha Constituency is comprise of 5 assembly regions: Isauli, Sultanpur, Sultanpur Sadar, Lambhua and kadipur. The 4 out of 5 assembly seats were won by the BJP in the last elections and only 1 by Samajwadi party.

In 2014, Varun Gandhi won the election from Sultanpur Lok Sabha Constituency and in 2019 Maneka Gandhi won by securing 459,196 (45.91%) votes. While the BSP candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh lost election with a total 44.43% votes.

Sultanpur Lok Sabha Constituency is a general category seat and comprises of entire Sultanpur district. The literacy rate of the constituency is 58.99%. No ST population reside here in Sultanpur, however a significant population of Muslims and SC constitute it. The Muslim and SC population forms a total of 17.14% and 22.41% of the Sultanpur Lok Sabha Constituency.