Union minister Smriti Irani on Sunday said she will leave politics the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi decides to retire, PTI reported. “The day ‘pradhan sevak’ Narendra Modi decides to hang [up] his boots, I will also leave Indian politics,” she said.
Irani, speaking at an event in Pune, was responding to a question if she would be seen as a “pradhan sevak” [prime servant – a title often used by Modi to describe his role] in the future. “Never. I entered politics to work under charismatic leaders,” she said. “I was very lucky to work under the leadership of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and I am currently serving under Modi ji.”
The Union minister of textiles said she would decide for herself how much of her life would be dedicated to the country and society. Irani also brushed aside questions about whether she wished to serve under leaders other than Modi.
“Am I not currently working under leaders like Rajnath Singh ji, Nitin Gadkari ji? There are leaders with whom I have worked within the organisation for the last 18 years,” she said. “You are presuming Modi won’t be there for long, but let me tell you, he is going to be around for very, very long years.”
Irani said BJP President Amit Shah will take a call on whether she would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. “In 2014, when I fought the election, they were asking who is Smriti,” she said. “In 2019, they know who I am.”
Irani had lost to Gandhi in the 2014 general elections from Amethi.
Irani said she admired women politicians like Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. “When they began their journey, it was comparatively tougher. They have made a difference in Indian politics without any additional support,” she added. “I look up to them as my source of inspiration.”