Union minister and BJP candidate from Amethi, Smriti Irani has taken a sharp dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for writing a letter addressed to "Mera Amethi parivar (my Amethi family)" in which he urges the people of his constituency in Uttar Pradesh to vote him back as their MP. Ms Irani says Rahul Gandhi writing a letter shows he is not giving due importance and has not visited the panchayats located in the constituency.
"His writing letter shows that he has not given importance to Amethi and thus didn't take the pain to visit 'nyay-panchayat' located in the constituency himself," Smriti Irani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Rahul Gandhi has not been seen in Amethi this election season as much as his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has always campaigned on his behalf in the largely rural constituency.
Amethi goes to polls on Monday in the fifth phase of the general elections.
Rahul Gandhi, in his letter earlier today, said "It is my promise to the people of Amethi that the moment the Congress comes to power at the centre, the schemes blocked by the BJP will be started. On 6 May, vote in large numbers to bring back this member of the family".
Accusing the BJP of setting up a "factory of lies", Rahul Gandhi wrote that Amethi's strength was its "honesty, integrity and simplicity".
Amethi has voted Rahul Gandhi since his first election in 2004, when he joined politics, but the much reduced votes and vote share in the last election in 2014, when the BJP fielded Smriti Irani against him, has given the Congress chief reason to worry. The BJP has accused him of choosing another constituency, Kerala's Wayanad, as he is afraid of losing Amethi.
Smriti Irani, encouraged by the one lakh margin of defeat to Rahul Gandhi, never stopped visiting Amethi and is running an aggressive campaign there.
With inputs from agencies
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