New Delhi: Responding to newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai’s comments claiming Rahul Gandhi might contest from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat next year, Union Minister Smriti Irani said everyone has a right to fight elections from anywhere in a democracy, news agency ANI reported.
Irani, who trounced Rahul Gandhi at Amethi in 2019 general elections, said the Gandhi family has always opposed the [Narendra] Modi-Yogi [Adityanath] government and questioned if the grand old party thinks the voters will abandon the ruling BJP only to ensure the Congress wins.
“In a democracy, everyone has the right to contest elections from a constituency of his choice. He (Rahul) can contest from anywhere but the question is that the Gandhi family has always opposed the Modi-Yogi government in Amethi….Do they (Gandhi family) think that the people of Amethi will abandon this government just so that one family can succeed,” ANI quoted Smriti Irani as saying.
#WATCH | Amethi(UP), Union Minister Smriti Irani on statement of UP Congress chief Ajay Rai on the possibility of Rahul Gandhi contesting election from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat says, “In a democracy, everyone has the right, he(Rahul) can contest from anywhere but the question is… pic.twitter.com/IrQgLCuTXG
— ANI (@ANI) August 25, 2023
Taking a further dig at the Congress, Irani said, “Does the Gandhi family think that the 5,00,000 farmers in Amethi will abandon their annual income of Rs 6,000 just so that the Gandhi family’s name can shine? Do they think that 90,000 families of Amethi who received keys to their own houses for the first time, will leave their houses so that Gandhi family can settle there?”
The Union Minister was in Amethi on a two-day visit for the inauguration of several industrial units.
It is to be noted that Rahul Gandhi made his parliamentary debut from Amethi in 2004 and won the next two Lok Sabha elections from the same seat. He was defeated by BJP’s Smriti Irani in 2019.
Sonia Gandhi, who is an MP from Rae Bareli, is the only Congress parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh at present.
Earlier, on Thursday, addressing the Congress workers in Lucknow, Ajay Rai had said party’s state unit has the “biggest responsibility” in making Rahul Gandhi the prime minister of the country, PTI reported.
“Everybody now wants Rahul Gandhi to become the prime minister of the country…party’s UP unit has the biggest responsibility in making him the PM. We all work for Rahul Gandhi and for the party, only then we will be able to show our strength in 2024 (Lok Sabha) polls,” PTI quoted Rai as saying.
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