07 February,2023 10:00 PM IST | New Delhi | PTI
Hitting back at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said the person who was shown "magic" by the people of Amethi was taking jibes at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as she accused the Gandhi family of failing to deliver on its developmental promises in the Lok Sabha constituency.
Irani went with the term "magic", which was used by Gandhi in his remarks in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday to describe industrialist Gautam Adani*s meteoric rise under the Bharatiya Janata Party*s (BJP) rule.
In an attack on the Gandhi family without taking its name, the minister alleged that in 1981, one foundation, which is very famous in Amethi, took control of 40 acres of land for a rent of Rs 623 on the promise of building a medical facility there.
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"For 30 years, the poor people of Amethi were told that a medical college will be opened. But on the land where they were talking about opening a medical college, that family made a guesthouse for themselves," she said, intervening in the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President*s Address.
Irani had defeated Gandhi from Amethi, once a pocket borough of the Gandhis, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
She also claimed that one Nanhe Lal Mishra, suffering from a serious disease, was turned away by the hospital built on the land owned by "the family" as he had said he should be treated under Prime Minister Modi*s Ayushman Bharat scheme.
"I wish Mishra could have told this to the House, but his voice will not be heard here because he died.... These are the people who were attacking Narendra Modi, taking jibes at him, who allowed a gentleman to die. They still hold 40 acres of land," Irani said, noting that it was Modi who gave a medical college to the people of Amethi.
Citing another instance, she said "the family" invited people to open a factory, which suddenly closed down and the land was taken over by the foundation.
"Farmers went to court against the family and got an order from the court, but it disregarded that and continues to occupy the land. And they come to Parliament and talk about the poor," Irani said.
She also alleged that the Gandhis ruined the Fursatganj airfield, where they ran a family-linked academy and named two hostels after Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
"When they were on the board, they handed over the handling (of the academy) to a foreign firm that has ruined that place and all that is included in a report," the minister said.
She said the Fursatganj airport has now been included in the Centre*s UDAN scheme and a common person can take advantage of it.
Rebutting the opposition*s charges, the minority affairs minister claimed that the Modi government has done a lot for the minorities and pointed to the new Haj policy, under which the application forms have been made free. She accused the Congress of duping the minorities over the years.
Irani also highlighted the development projects undertaken in Amethi since she won the parliamentary seat in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 and accused the Gandhi family of stunting the constituency*s progress, despite representing it in the Lok Sabha for more than five decades.
Taking a swipe at Gandhi over the allegations levelled by the Congress leader against Modi, she said the Hindi proverbs -- "diya tale andhera", "chor ki dadhi mein tinka" and "ulta chor kotwal ko daate" -- came to life before her in Parliament on Tuesday.
Irani also hailed the prime minister for his efforts to ensure that a tribal woman (President Droupadi Murmu) reaches the highest constitutional office in the country.
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