After Smriti Irani's Offensive in Amethi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Return Fire

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After Smriti Irani's Offensive in Amethi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Return Fire

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arriving at Lucknow Airport.


Amethi:  Union education minister Smriti Irani encountered some return Gandhi fire today. Not from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who she has been targeting in his parliamentary constituency Amethi, but from his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

"They said Smriti Irani has done something for Amethi - then as HRD minister she should look into the IIIT. Why has it not moved forward," said Ms Vadra, who is touring her mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's constituency Rae Bareli, which adjoins Amethi.

Ms Irani retorted, "Rahul won the election in Amethi, I lost.  Isn't he capable of doing something for his own constituency?"

She also said, "Priyanka, next time you make an allegation, please do your own homework first."

On Tuesday, the minister had landed in Amethi to celebrate the BJP-led Modi government's first year in office. She promised to pay for the insurance of 25,000 women, announced a rail rake of fertiliser and accused Rahul Gandhi of neglecting Amethi in the 10 years that he has represented it.

She called herself "the daughter of Amethi," a title associated in these parts with Ms Vadra, who contrasted her visit with that of Mr Irani by saying, "I usually come quietly and meet the workers."

Ms Irani, 39, a TV-actress-turned-politician, had contested the national election against Mr Gandhi in Amethi last year. She lost, but managed to reduce Rahul's winning margin in the Gandhi family pocket-borough.

Earlier this month she crossed swords with him over his allegation that the centre has scuttled a food park project that his party's government had planned in Amethi. The IIIT or Indian Institute of Information Technology is a research institute that was inaugurated by Rahul Gandhi in 2005.

Last year, the Allahabad institute it is affiliated to wrote to the Human Resource and Development ministry saying it was finding it difficult to run it. The ball is now in Ms Irani's court.


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