Amethi, April 11: Union Minister Smriti Irani files her nomination from the Lok Sabha seat in Amethi where she is pitted against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. She was accompanied by her husband Zubin Irani.
Irani filed the nomination at the District Magistrate’s office in Gauriganj. She was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Earlier, she held a four-kilometre roadshow, cheered by supporters.
Smriti Irani files nomination
Rahul Gandhi, a three-time Member of Parliament from Amethi, had filed his nomination papers on Wednesday. He was accompanied by his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister and Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra and their two sons were also present.
Amethi is considered a bastion of the Congress. The seat has remained mostly with the Congress since 1980.
The parliamentary seat of Amethi was first represented by Sanjay Gandhi between 1979-81. After his death in a plane crash, his elder brother Rajiv Gandhi represented the seat till 1991.
After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, his wife Sonia Gandhi contested from the seat in 1999 and won. Since 2004, the seat is being represented by Rahul Gandhi.
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.
Meanwhile, polling will be held in Amethi on May 6 during the fifth phase of the general elections. In the 2014 general elections, Rahul Gandhi had defeated Smriti Irani by a margin of around one lakh votes. The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh started on Thursday and will end on May 19. Counting of votes will be held on May 23.