Congress scion Rahul Gandhi is currently in Nepal and enjoying the glitz and glamour of nightclubs. However, his competitor, who already has the wood over him is now working overtime to upstage the Congress prince in his own backyard. Reportedly, the Union Minister for women and child development and an MP from Amethi, Smriti Irani on Tuesday visited Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency of Wayanad in Kerala.
As soon as Smriti Irani reached Wayanad, the political circuit was buzzing with speculations regarding BJP’s next move to corner Congress. After all, it was Smriti on a BJP ticket that beat Rahul in his ‘once-impenetrable’ fortress of Amethi in the 2019 General elections.
During her visit — a part of the Centre’s Aspirational Districts programme — Smriti Irani said there was “much that has not been done” in the Wayanad, and that the local administration has assured her that this would be addressed. She also held field visits in tribal areas like Kalpetta, Maravayal, Ambalachal, and Kaniyambetta to review the implementation of central schemes in the region.
Smriti takes a dig at Rahul; calls him a deserter
The Amethi MP also visited the Varadoor Anganwadi Center developed by a Central Government PSU as part of its CSR activities in Kaniyambetta Gram Panchayat and spent time with children at Ponnada Anganwadi Centre in Kalpetta.
Lastly, Smriti Irani also tweeted a video titled ‘For our friends in Wayanad… With Love from Amethi’ One-Stop, which listed how Rahul had “failed” Amethi.
For our friends in Wayanad…
With warm regards,
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 3, 2022
When asked by reporters if she was considering contesting elections from Wayanad if her party asked her to, Smriti Irani straight up violated Rahul. She said, “I am not Rahul Gandhi, I don’t run from Amethi.”
Wayanad has a large tribal population. According to the 2011 Census, the Scheduled Tribe population in Kerala is 4,84,839. In Wayanad, there are 1,51,443 tribals as per the Census. However, despite Central Government’s best intentions to uplift their lives — the apathy of their current MP has not allowed benefits to reach the lowest strata. Perhaps, Rahul is borrowing from his late father’s ideology of only 15 paise reaching the poor from the rupee sent by the Central Government.
Visited One Stop Center (OSC) of Wayanad district and interacted with functionaries & beneficiaries there. pic.twitter.com/2qsE6d88W8
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 3, 2022
Smriti and his fight to win Amethi – a case study
It is pertinent to note that Smriti did not win Amethi by using any influential surname or fluke. In fact, she failed at the first attempt and her attempt only came after learning the ropes and rising through the ranks slowly.
As reported extensively by TFI, Smriti Irani had always been a vocal supporter of women’s rights to live with respect and dignity in the country. Due to her unrelenting support for women’s cause in the wake of the 2012 Delhi Gang-rape, her political journey was fast-tracked. She emerged as one of the formidable women faces of BJP in the 2014 elections.
Though Irani had started to contribute in Parliament as Rajya Sabha MP from 2011 alone, the 2014 General elections can truly be termed as a turning point of her political career. Though she lost the seat, her challenge to Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, a Gandhi family’s den, brought appreciation from every quarter.
Impressed by her doggedness and fighting spirit, Modi government decided to hand her the responsibility of the dilapidated human resource ministry. In her two years of a small stint in HRD ministry, she handled various narrative-changing controversies like Rohit Vemula’s suicide and JNU sedition case with full political maturity. Before changing her portfolio to the textile industry, Irani announced setting up new yoga departments in six universities.
Smriti remained on the ground despite losing the election
When Smriti was handling multiple ministries, she did not forget to serve the people of Amethi. She started a multi-pronged strategy to serve the people of Amethi. She was there to ensure that all the benefits of Central and State Government schemes reach the actual beneficiaries. She became a known face in every locality.
She became more accessible to the people of Amethi than Rahul Gandhi himself. Confident of her groundwork, Smriti again challenged Rahul for Amethi in the 2019 general elections. Probably, Rahul had sniffed defeat and that is why he decided to contest one more Lok Sabha seat from Wayanad. Eventually, Smriti Irani became the first leader to throw out the Gandhi family’s scion from Amethi.
Read More: Rahul Gandhi is not to be blamed!
Warning bells ringing for Rahul in Wayanad
And if the current trend continues and Smriti ups the ante – Rahul may have to find another safe seat to ensure his political survival. Smriti is an incredibly tough yet fair competitor. Meanwhile, Rahul is still resting on the laurels of his Gandhi surname.
There is no problem in attending a friend’s wedding in a foreign nation and visiting nightclubs. However, when the party is in a dilapidated state as Congress – having just lost assembly elections in five states, it is beyond comprehension that the leader of the party even considers taking a break as a priority. Especially when the opposite leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi works around the clock.
A career in political arena requires utmost sacrifice. If Rahul Gandhi wants work-life balance – perhaps leaving the top party position and working as a common cadre worker is the way to go.