Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra yesterday slammed Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, saying she was insulting the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli - the strongholds of the Gandhis.
“The people of Amethi and Rae Bareli have self-respect. They have never begged before anyone for anything... She is insulting them...let them (BJP) beg for votes,” Vadra said referring to the minister who had earlier distributed shoes to the local people.
Irani had contested the 2014 national elections from Amethi against Congress president Rahul Gandhi but lost and has been again fielded by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to challenge him.
Vadra, who had been managing the two VVIP constituencies in the past, has taken up the role of party general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh (East) and is campaigning all over the country.
Yesterday, she was apparently furious that Irani was trying to do Gandhi’s work by distributing shoes to the locals and show that the villagers had seen no development.
“Go, tell them that the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli support those who stand amidst them,” Vadra said.
She accused the BJP of misleading voters in Amethi and elsewhere and said the ruling party was neglecting basic issues concerning the people.
“I have been visiting UP...I have seen the pain of the farmers who complain that stray cattle is destroying their fields...I have heard small traders complain of GST worries...I have seen youth at the crossings lament about joblessness...,” she said.
Meabwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday agreed to examine Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam’s appeal for quashing a defamation case filed against him by Irani in 2013.
The court issued a notice to Irani. Nirupam has sought for the setting aside of a summons issued against him by a trial court in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Irani.
“Why do you go for TV debates when you enter into a fight and then go to the court,” said the Supreme Court as it agreed to examine the appeal by the Congress leader.
In 2012, while participating in a TV debate, Irani and Nirupam got into a heated verbal exchange.
Nirupam reportedly questioned Irani’s credentials saying: “You used to charge money to perform dance shows on TV. Now you are an election analyst?” Irani filed the defamation suit against Nirupam in 2013. He also filed a cross-defamation suit.
In 2014, Irani, who was at the time the Human Resource Development minister, filed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the complaint against her by Nirupam, and also the summons issued to her by the trial court.
In his turn, Nirupam challenged the complaint filed by Irani, and the court’s 2013 order summoning him over the complaint.
The Delhi High Court then set aside the proceedings of the trial court against Irani in the 2012 defamation case filed by the Congress leader.
Nirupam, however, did not get any relief in the defamation case filed by Irani.
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