Ram temple: Irani slams Cong for ‘creating hurdle’ in court

AMETHI (UP), Jan 4: Union minister Smriti Irani blamed the Congress Friday for “creating hurdle” in the judicial process in the Ram temple case through its lawyers and said ‘Ram bhakts’ should ask the party about it.
“Congress should not do politics through its lawyers on Ram temple issue, which is a matter of faith of people. It’s leaders, as lawyers, are creating hurdle in the court. People and Ram bhakts should ask the party whether its leader wore ‘janeu’ only for polls in three states,” she said.
Her reference was to senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal, who had sought deferment of hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case until after the 2019 general election.
Irani is on a day’s visit to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency and was talking to mediapersons on way to Amethi, about 140km from the state capital Lucknow.
Attacking Gandhi for apparently delaying his visit to Amethi by a few hours, she said, “His coming late in ‘maidan-e-jang’ (battlefield) of Amethi is an indication that the person who cannot visit his constituency on time cannot give timely solutions.”
“Jo paanch saal me ek baar aatey they, ab baar baar aana pad raha hai” (The person who used to visit his constituency once in five years is coming here again and again),” she said.
Irani said such was the pace of development in Amethi, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader felt nervous and was making frequent visits to the constituency to counter it.
She accused Gandhi of doing nothing for his constituency, which he has been representing for the past 15 years.
“If Rahul had done so much for Amethi, why his party lost in so many assembly segments of the Lok Sabha constituency in the 2017 assembly polls,” she asked.
“Rahul speaks of development, but could not ensure it in his own constituency. In fact, he could not even get a CT Scan machine installed in Amethi, which the BJP government is doing today,” she said.
Irani on Friday inaugurated a computerised tomography (CT) Scan facility in a state-run hospital here.
“I want to thank the people of Amethi. The constituency witnessed development under the leadership of Modi. I remember that in 2014, he (Rahul) had to run to booths for votes,” she said.
Seeking to drive a wedge between the Congress leader and the local youth, Irani said, “Why was Rahul silent when Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath spoke against UP and Bihar people working in that state.
“How will he see people eye to eye in Amethi today?”
On the Rafale deal controversy, she said Gandhi and his party, the Congress, were indulging in “politics of lies” and asserted that the Supreme Court has already given its verdict on it.
Gandhi had rescheduled his visit on Thursday night. He was expected to arrive in Lucknow at 10am on Friday but later he changed the timing and will be landing in Fursatganj airstrip in the evening. Asked whether the Congress chief was afraid of her, Irani said in a lighter vein, “bina dare chartered flight se aa rahe hain” (he is coming on a chartered flight without any fear).”
Gandhi had defeated Irani in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Amethi and they are likely to lock horns again in the upcoming general election.
The Congress chief will meet the people of his constituency, attend public and party reception, hold ‘corner meetings’ in Salon and visit Pareshdepur, Naseerabad, Paraiya Namaksar and Gauriganj areas on Friday.
He will also take part in the oath-taking ceremony of the Gauriganj Zila Adhivakta Sangh and inaugurate the Adhivakta Bhawan, built with MPLAD funds.
On Saturday, he will travel to Musafirkhana tehsil, Jagdishpur and Tiloyi, where he will meet family members of the late Shiv Pratap Singh, a veteran Congress leader who died last week after prolonged illness, before reaching Lucknow for his onward journey to Delhi.
Irani will attend a programme organised by Raghav Sewa Sansthan, during which blankets and financial assistance will be extended to the needy people and a foundation stone for a school will also be laid.
Though the Union textiles minister was trounced by Gandhi in 2014 election, she has maintained her contact with the constituency, nurturing it and visiting it frequently.
Irani continued to cultivate Amethi during these years, dropping hints she would again contest against Gandhi in the polls. Interestingly, this will be the first visit by the Congress president to his constituency after his party’s victory in the recent assembly elections in three states which, many believe, has rejuvenated its cadre and leaders. (PTI)


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