Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani on Friday thanked the people of Amethi district in Uttar Pradesh for electing her to Parliament. This was the third time a non-Congress MP has been chosen from the constituency.
The Union minister, in the biggest shock of the elections, said the results had brought upon a new dawn in Amethi, which has been a traditional bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi family and the Congress since 1967. In an Instagram post, Irani shared a dialogue from popular television show Game of Thrones.
Irani polled 49.71% of the votes, winning by a margin of 55,120 votes. In 2014, Gandhi had received stiff competition from the Union minister but managed to defeat her by over 1 lakh votes. However, his vote share was dented to as much as 46.71%, which at that time was the lowest vote share by which a Congress candidate from the Nehru-Gandhi family had won Amethi. On Thursday, it declined to 43.86%.
Irani led an aggressive campaign against Gandhi, constantly accusing him of ignoring the constituency. Gandhi did not visit Amethi even on the day of polling on May 6, giving her the opportunity to repeat that the “missing MP” had betrayed residents. Irani, meanwhile, stayed put in Amethi for several months, interacting with the local people.
The minister told News18 that she had seen signs of disenchantment with Rahul Gandhi back in 2014. “We were not concentrating on an individual but on the concept of somebody given the responsibility but not fulfilling it,” she added. “It has been a consistent effort since the past five years for us. Got the first signs of change in 2014 itself. My organisation persisted with efforts in the constituency and it bore fruits.”
Gandhi on Thursday congratulated the Union minister after conceding defeat, and asked her to take care of the people of Amethi.