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Smriti Irani dares Rahul Gandhi to contest Lok Sabha polls from Amethi

Smriti Irani has dared Rahul Gandhi to give up the Wayanad constituency in Kerala and contest from the solo seat in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Amethi (UP) Updated on: February 19, 2024 22:08 IST
Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani

Amethi: Union Minister and incumbent Amethi MP Smriti Irani on Monday challenged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to contest from his erstwhile constituency alone in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Both Gandhi and Irani were present in the Amethi parliamentary constituency today, where in the 2019 elections, the BJP leader defeated Gandhi, who is currently the Member of Parliament from Kerala's Wayanad.

"Amethi's former MP insulted the people of Amethi in Wayanad. Amethi was distressed due to this. Ram Lalla's invitation was rejected by him and his family. Amethi is distressed due to this also," she said, adding, "I dare him (Rahul) to contest from Amethi alone in the Lok Sabha elections."

Irani takes dig at Rahul Gandhi

The BJP leader also took a jibe at the Congress leader saying upon his arrival in Amethi as part of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra he was welcomed by deserted streets. "Rahul Gandhi considered Amethi as the centre of power but did not provide service, that is why he was welcomed by the deserted streets of Amethi. Congress workers who welcomed Rahul Gandhi did not participate in his yatra due to which the Congress had to call workers from Sultanpur and Pratapgarh," Irani told media persons.

Gandhi had served as the MP for the Congress bastion of Amethi in the Lok Sabha for 15 years before he was defeated by Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, Gandhi emerged victorious from Wayanad, the second seat he contested in the elections.

Irani further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked to increase the business capacity of Amethi through the establishment of small units. "An investment of Rs 6,253 crore has been made in Amethi, 662 projects have started. The Coca-Cola factory established in Ramganj Trishundi, Amethi, is the largest in South Asia. The biggest enterprise is the country's largest hatchery and poultry feed established in Amethi," she added.

Rahul Gandhi attacks Centre

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi during his yatra took a sharp dig at the BJP-led central government saying that the BJP is against the Dalits. taking about the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony of Ram Lalla at Ayodhya's temple, the Congress leader said that President Droupadi Murmu is an 'Adivasi' (belonging to tribal community), so she was not invited to the mega event.

"Did you see the Ram Mandir event? It was held with great fanfare. But did you see any Dalit faces? Our President is an Adivasi, so she wasn't allowed to attend the event. Did you see any farmer or labourer during the event? No backward class faces were anywhere seen during the event. But you must have seen Adani, Ambani and their families. All the businessmen were there. Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Narendra Modi were there," he said.

Congress bastion- Amethi

Amethi has been a stronghold for the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh since its formation in 1967. Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, contested for the first time from Amethi in 1977 but faced defeat due to nationwide backlash against the Emergency.

He later won the seat in 1980 but tragically passed away in a plane crash in 1981. Following his demise, his elder brother Rajiv Gandhi entered politics and was fielded from Amethi in 1981. He was re-elected in 1984, 1989, and 1991 until his assassination.

In the late 1990s, Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv's widow, contested from Amethi in 1999. However, in 2004, she shifted her constituency to Raebareli, a seat previously represented by her in-laws Feroze Gandhi and later by Indira Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi took over the family's political stronghold in Amethi in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009 and 2014. However, he faced defeat to Smriti Irani by a margin of around 55,000 votes in the 2019 elections.

(With agencies input)

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024: Akhilesh Yadav offers 17 seats to Congress in Uttar Pradesh

Also Read: Lok Sabha polls 2024: SP releases new list of 11 candidates, fields Harendra Malik and Afzal Ansari



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