Smriti Irani vs Rahul Gandhi: BJP leader says after Amethi, Rahul Gandhi now ‘cheating’ people in Wayanad : The Tribune India

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Smriti Irani vs Rahul Gandhi: BJP leader says after Amethi, Rahul Gandhi now ‘cheating’ people in Wayanad

The aim is to send a message to Congress and supporters that Wayanad will not be a cakewalk for the Gandhi scion this time, say observers

Smriti Irani vs Rahul Gandhi: BJP leader says after Amethi, Rahul Gandhi now ‘cheating’ people in Wayanad


Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, March 4

In Wayanad to support BJP candidate K Surendran , Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday spent a sizable portion of her time addressing media persons berating sitting MP Rahul Gandhi.

She also claimed that after “cheating” the people of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh he was now doing the same in Kerala.

Irani said she had come to Wayanad from an area (read Amethi) where the Gandhi family ruled for 50 years and called the people from their “family”.

“They (Rahul Gandhi and Congress) are now calling the people of Wayanad their family. They cheated the people of Amethi in the name of family and now they are aiming to do the same in Wayanad,” Irani told the media persons

Filing his nomination papers for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday, Gandhi had referred to Wayanad as his “home” and people there his “family”.

Wayanad my home, says Rahul

“Wayanad is my home, and the people of Wayanad are my family. From them, I have learned a great deal over the last five years and received an abundance of love and affection….

“This election is a fight for the soul of India; it is a fight to preserve our democracy from the forces of hatred, corruption, and injustice that seek to suppress the voice of Bharat Mata,” he said in a post on social media.

Smriti Irani—Rahul Gandhi’s nemesis in Amethi

Irani who demolished the Gandhi family’s decades-long claim in Amethi was in Wayanad in support of BJP state president K Surendran who is contesting against Gandhi in Wayanad

Referring to the Opposition-led INDIA alliance, Irani said that if Gandhi cannot be accepted as the leader of the bloc how he can expect the same in Wayanad. She also accused him of seeking support from the Popular Front of India (PFI) and “creating animosity against Sanatan Dharma”

The fact is even after serving a humiliating defeat for Gandhi in Amethi, a “family’s pocket borough” in 2019, BJP and Irani kept up the pressure on him in the last five years, taking him on wherever and whenever possible.

Snatching Amethi from the Congress’ first family was a major victory for Irani

Will Wayand be a cakewalk for Gandhi in 2024?

Observers say the main aim of sending Irani to Wayanad is “really quite simple” to remind people in Wayanad that Gandhi is “defeatable” and send a message to Congress and supporters that this time the constituency will not be a cakewalk for them.

“BJP is trying to make Gandhi’s fight tougher in what is otherwise considered a ‘safe seat’ for Congress because of its demography,” they add.

In 2019, Gandhi won Wayand with a margin of over 4 lakh votes

“BJP is trying to ensure that Wayanad does not come easy to the Gandhi family scion this time. The aim is to repeat what they did in Amethi in 2019,” they say

Congress leaders like Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have held Amethi on multiple occasions, barring 1977 and 1998.

Irani lost to Rahul Gandhi in 2014

In 2019, she won Amethi with over 50,000 votes

Wayanad—a ‘safe’ seat

Anticipating BJP’s preparations and mood of the people in UP, in 2019 Congress failed Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad. Established in 2009, Wayanad sent Congress’ MI Shanavas to the Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 and was considered a “safe seat” for the grand old party.

Wayanad is one of the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala.

Shanavas passed away in 2018, leaving the seat vacant.

In 2019 Gandhi won the seat with 64.94 % vote share.

In a state where the contest is mostly between the Congress-led UDF and the CPM-led LDF, the BJP has fielded its state president K Surendran from Wayanad.

Who will fight against Irani in Amethi?

That remains one of the frequently asked questions in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections

While the BJP has renominated Smriti Irani from Amethi, there is no news if Congress will field Rahul Gandhi or perhaps field some other high-profile candidate against her in a bid to reclaim the prestigious Lok Sabha constituency or leave the constituency for its ally—the Samajwadi Party.

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#BJP #Congress #Rahul Gandhi #Smriti Irani


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