Smriti Irani (Photo IANS)
Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of only paying ‘lip service’ when it came to development in Amethi.
Speaking at a public rally in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, Irani said the Congress leader has no answer for the lack of development in his own parliamentary constituency (Amethi).
“Now is the time for Congress and Gandhi family to answer to the people of Amethi on why there has been no development,” said Irani.
Smriti Irani had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll against Rahul Gandhi. Amethi, which has traditionally been the Congress’s bastion, witnessed a poll battle in the last Lok Sabha election between the two.
Irani also accused Gandhi of grabbing land of the farmers through the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. “A vast stretch of land was given by farmers for construction of the Samrat cycle factory and when nothing much happened there is an effort to occupy the land illegally and despite eviction notice they are not releasing the land,” she added.
“Rahulji should answer why it took a BJP government at the Centre and in the state to get Rs. 15 crore released to stop the land erosion in Peepri village; to offload the first rake of fertilisers through a train; to build toilets in schools and offices,” she asked.
It was also for the first time that a tuberculosis unit has been set up in the district hospital, Irani said while continuing her tirade against the Congress leader.
On Monday, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on the second phase of his party’s Navsarjan Yatra in Gujarat launched a frontal attack on the Narendra Modi government, accusing it of crony capitalism, and hit out at BJP chief Amit Shah over allegations that his son’s business fortunes soared after the NDA government came to power in New Delhi.
Gandhi took potshots at the Modi government at Nadiad in Gujarat. “When it comes to helping, they help only a handful of industrialists. For 10-12 years, Amit Shah’s son’s company had nothing, but started earning only after 2014. ‘Ajeeb duniya hain’ (It’s a strange world). He (Jay Shah) started with Rs 50,000, and in a year it jumped to Rs. 80 crore. This is ‘Start Up India’, ‘Make in India’,” he said, mocking the Prime Minister’s pet schemes.
Gandhi said during his speech, “Complete my sentence, ‘Na khaunga, Na khaney dunga. Kahan gaya chowkidar? Ye hai Gujarat ki sachchai (I will not indulge in corruption, nor let others indulge in corruption. Where is the gatekeeper? This is the reality of Gujarat).”
Rahul was referring to Modi who has often said he is the “chowkidar of the nation and will not allow any corruption”.
Rahul’s latest visit comes a day after Prime Minister Modi ended his two-day trip to Gujarat, where he visited his hometown Vadnagar and launched the “Intensified Mission Indradhanush”.
(With agency inputs)