New Delhi: Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Monday claimed that Congress workers in Amethi have asked their national president Rahul Gandhi to contest from a second seat as they are aware of his humiliating defeat. While speaking at the ‘India Ka DNA 2019 Conclave’, Irani said, “Congress jaanti hai Rahul ka singhasan Amethi me dagmaga gya hai (Congress knows Rahul’s throne in Amethi has been shaken).”
She added,”BJP is contesting from Amethi and I am just a representative. My fight against Rahul Gandhi is not personal, it is against an ideology and corruption.”
When asked to rate Rahul Gandhi as competitor, the Union Minister said, “Competition toh barabari walo se hota hai, Raja aur runk me kaha competition hota hai. I come from a very simple family and not a royal family. India’s DNA has changed. There is no competition between a simple person and a dynast.”
On being asked if there is Modi ‘lehar’ (wave) across the country, Irani said,”Why is Congress president fighting from two seats if there is no Modi wave? His candidature from 2 seats prove that there is Modi lehar.”
Notably, the BJP has once again fielded Irani from Amethi in the upcoming general election. In the last Lok Sabha polls, she challenged Rahul Gandhi in his bastion and was defeated by a margin of over one lakh votes.
However, the Congress party’s vote share was reduced to 46 per cent in 2014 as against the earlier figures of 71 per cent and 66 per cent in the 2009 and 2004 elections, respectively. The BJP, whose vote share in Amethi remained in the single digits in 2004, garnered 37 per cent of the votes cast in 2014.
The seat has long been a stronghold of the Congress, which has not been defeated here in three decades — barring in 1998, when the BJP’s Sanjay Singh defeated Satish Sharma of the Congress by a margin of 23,270 votes. Amethi was regained by the Congress in 1999 when Sonia Gandhi was elected MP from there.