Smriti Irani has used hundreds of high-yield banana plants gifted by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to farmers in Amethi to launch a fresh attack at him. Irani, who reached Gandhi’s home turf on Monday, faulted him for distributing the Israeli variety of the plant.
“The Congress couldn’t even find a desi banana for Amethi,” Irani said at a function on a visit timed to coincide with the birth anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi. Except for one election in 1998, Amethi has consistently voted the Congress from 1980 Lok Sabha election onwards.
Irani was fielded by the BJP in the 2014 elections to make inroads in the Gandhi family pocket borough. She did lose the battle but managed to succeed to reduce the Congress leader’s victory margin to 1 lakh votes in 2014, down from 3 lakh five years earlier.
“We have come with schemes worth Rs 776 lakh for Amethi while Rahulji is distributing Israeli bananas to Amethi,” she said, underlining that the BJP government had unveiled the schemes “to honour our commitment made by PM Narendra Modi”.
Smriti Irani also took a broad swipe at the Congress president who she said, often criticises the RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP. “Despite Congress governments ill treating RSS cadre, the Sangh-run Bhaurao Deoras Nyas is in the process of setting up a Rs 10 crore healthcare facility for Amethi. This is what Sangh is,” she said.
The minister added that the idea of distributing the banana plants originated from another programme of the RSS-run organisation. “Even banana plant gift idea was born out of distribution of plants and fruits to over 50000 families of Amethi by Bhaurao Deoras Nyas few months back,” she said.