On her first visit to Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency after the Lok Sabha elections were announced, Smriti Irani Thursday attacked the Congress president, saying his decision to contest from Wayanad in Kerala was an ‘insult’ to Amethi.
The 48-year-old Congress chief is contesting from Kerala in addition to his traditional stronghold Amethi, where he is pitted against the Union textile minister.
Terming herself ‘didi’ (elder sister), Irani told a gathering in Parsadepur in Amethi, “This is a coincidence, a sign from God that ‘didi’ arrived here and the missing MP reached Kerala. I have come to seek (people’s) blessings and he rejected the blessings.”
“While the BJP workers are working with devotion to make the country capable and strong… The missing MP files his nomination from another place with the blessing of those who want to divide the country,” she said.
This will be Irani’s second attempt to wrest Amethi from the Congress. In 2014, she lost the seat to Gandhi by a margin of over one lakh votes.
On her arrival in Lucknow enroute Amethi for a two-day visit, Irani claimed Lord Ram’s “vanavas” (exile) was for 14 years and the people of Amethi was experiencing the same for the last 15 years.
“The people of Amethi had to bear with the missing MP for 15 years. A person who rode on the shoulder of Amethi and enjoyed power for the past 15 years, has decided to leave his supporters and file nominations from another seat because Congress workers know he does not have support,” she told reporters at the Chowdhury Charan Singh Airport in Lucknow, hours before Gandhi filed his nomination in Wayanad.
“He is filing his papers from another Lok Sabha seat. This is an insult to Amethi and a betrayal of the people,” Irani said, adding, “People here will celebrate Diwali on May 23, end the ‘vanvas’ and march towards the path of development.
Referring to the excessive heat, Irani said the temperature had already risen in 2017 when the BJP won in four of the five assembly segments under the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.
The fifth Assembly segment was won by the Samajwadi Party.
Irani also tweeted in Hindi, “While Rahul is taking support of ‘desh virodhi’ (anti-national) forces, BSP candidate from Gauriganj assembly constituency Vijay Kishore Tiwari is joining the BJP with a strong determination to empower the country.”
The Union minister, who is on a two day-visit to Amethi, landed at the Chowdhury Charan Singh airport in Lucknow this morning and visited the RSS office in Rajendra Nagar before proceeding to Rahul Gandhi’s pocket borough. PTI