Updated: February 17, 2021 9:00:01 am
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to contest an election from Gujarat “if he has the courage”.
Irani, who is among the star campaigners of the BJP for the upcoming local body polls in Gujarat, was addressing election rallies in Vansda and Chikhli of Navsari district.
Referring to a purported statement made by Rahul recently in Assam, Irani alleged that the former has stated that he would take out money from every tea trader from Gujarat.
“Recently, someone who was an MP from Amethi (referring to Rahul), went to Assam, and said that if a small-time Gujarati trader buys tea leaves from Assam, then he will take out money from their pocket. Earlier, he was having problem with chaiwala and now with chai. I want to tell him that if you have the courage, fight an election from Gujarat, and everything will be clear (dum hein to kabhi Gujarat se chunav ladke dikhao, chai ka chai aur pani ka pani ho jayega),” she said.
During an election rally in Assam, Rahul, while speaking about hiking the daily wage of tea garden workers in the state, had said,“Tea garden workers get Rs 167, and businessmen from Gujarat get entire tea gardens.”
Attacking the Opposition Congress, the Union Minister said, “Those who ruled India for 60 years, they have not made a single toilet for the poor families. It was Modiji who had made 10 crore toilets in the country, for the poor families in India. In the upcoming local body elections, before casting votes, see the toilets in the poor families and then vote for the party which had made it.”
She added, “The people of Gujarat wanted to construct Statue of Unity in the honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had united India. The Congress party and its leader Rahul Gandhi had opposed it. It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had appealed to the people of the country to contribute (for the project). Rahul Gandhi and his family could not digest this as their politics of removing Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel from the history would get disturbed.”
Irani further slammed the Congress in Gujarat for “remaining invisible” during a crisis.
“Will you support that party that had not looked at the poor during the (Covid-19) pandemic, or you will support a party whose workers had put their life on risk and worked for the betterment of the public? It is not new for the Gujarat Congress to remain invisible during a disaster. When there was flood-like situation in Gujarat, the BJP workers and leaders worked for the people. At that time, the Congress leaders were enjoying in a resort,” the Union Minister alleged.
Meanwhile speaking at another rally for general elections of Unjha Nagarpalika, the Union Minister recalled the work done by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as Prime Minister in providing 24*7 electricity to crores of people living in rural areas.
Addressing a public gathering at Vadipara Chowk locality of Unjha, Irani said, “People of Unjha have made a glorious chief minister a prime minister of this country at a time when there were a number of villages and hamlets in the country who were facing darkness after sun set (due to lack of electricity).”
Irani said that Modi carried his virtues from Gujarat to Delhi and announced Swachhata Abhiyan as a yagna from the temple of democracy.
Launching another attack on Congress and Rahul, Irani said that those who visit temples only during elections or those who questioned existence of Lord Ram in an affidavit will not be able to understand it. Only those, she added, can understand it who “carry their adorable God in their heart” and who “chant Jai Shree Ram slogan in every nook and corner of the country”.
Dominated by Patidar community, Unjha Nagarpalika is having 36 seats. In 2015, the party did not field a single candidate on its symbol owing to the heat it was facing from Patidar community in the wake of Patidar reservation agitation.