Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday filed her nomination for the Lok Sabha elections from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh. She will contest against Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Irani had contested against Gandhi in Amethi in 2014, and lost by 1.07 lakh votes.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader performed a puja earlier on Thursday before visiting Amethi District Magistrate Ram Manohar Mishra to file her nomination papers, ANI reported. Irani’s husband Zubin accompanied her for the ceremony.
Irani, who spoke to reporters after filing her nomination, questioned Gandhi’s silence on the Income Tax searches carried out in Madhya Pradesh earlier this week, PTI reported.
When asked about Gandhi’s “chowkidar chor hai” or “the watchman is a thief” remark referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Irani said: “Why isn’t Rahul Gandhi revealing who the gentleman from Madhya Pradesh is who transferred loot money to a person residing on Tughlaq Road? What type of politics is the Congress practising wherein its leaders commit the sin of looting money meant for the welfare of pregnant women and poor children?”
Irani said Gandhi has remained silent about the searches conducted at premises of Kamal Nath’s aide. “Rahul’s silence exposes his reality,” she said.
Gandhi had filed his nomination for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat on Wednesday. Gandhi has won from Amethi three times, starting 2004. The seat was once held by his father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
On the Lok Sabha elections, Irani said people want a vision for the reconstruction of the country, similar to what Modi and the BJP have presented. “We are confident that he [Modi] will get the responsibility of country’s pradhan sevak once again,” she said, while reiterating that the BJP stood for “nation first, party next and self last”.
Last month, Irani had claimed that Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra is simply a mask for dubious land deals, while the Congress chief is their “real face”. Vadra, the husband of Priyanka Gandhi, is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged money laundering. Vadra is alleged to have used laundered money to buy real estate in the United Kingdom. He is also being investigated in the Bikaner land scam case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Voting will be held in Amethi during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 6. Results for all the seven phases will be declared on May 23.