Published On: Fri, Dec 22nd, 2023

Smriti Irani accuses Gandhis of robbing Amethi farmers, had ‘rented 30 acres for Rs 600’

New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani accused the Gandhis of land grabbing in Amethi – an erstwhile family stronghold until she beat Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 general election – alleging that they “rented 30 acres of land for just Rs 600”.

She also shared that her mother is a “Sanghi” and was part of the Jan Sangh

In a conversation with ANI’s Smita Prakash on her podcast, Irani, the BJP Lok Sabha MP from Amethi, said that the Gandhis “usurped” land from farmers and others in the name of “industrialisation”.

“It took me a while to tell people that genuinely believe me that people were being robbed of their lands by the Gandhi family. I have said this in Parliament. For Rs 600, 30 acres of land taken on rent. The family (Gandhis) builds itself a nice, lovely complex there. The idea that the head of a foundation – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra – could mandate the usurping of land of farmers in Amethi was foreign. But they (Gandhis) took land in the name of industrialisation,” Irani said.

The Minister of Women and Child Development further alleged that a piece of land, meant to be used for minority girl students, was grabbed by the Gandhis for an office.

“Girls who went against the family (Gandhi) and staged a dharna (protest) against them were imprisoned,” Irani claimed.

Smriti Irani lost to Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 General Elections. She avenged that defeat in 2019 wresting the seat from Gandhi. Irani, 47, is the youngest member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.

My family saw friction due to political differences: Irani
During the podcast, Smriti Irani also shed light on her early life and how she secured a Tata scholarship. The BJP leader said she was fed up with the “Delhi nuisance around me that everything you do is credited to daddy” and was keen on moving to Mumbai to carve out her own identity.

“I just wanted to be someone on my merit,” the Union Minister said.

“We had a lot of friction within the family because my parents were from different political ideologies. What politics can do to a family, I witnessed it first-hand,” Irani shared.

She said her father “is or was” a Congressman who ended his contribution to politics after former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi died. “I have seen my father weep (over ex-PM’s death),” Irani said.

She also shared that her mother is a “Sanghi” and was part of the Jan Sangh and talked about her visits to the “shakha” at the Delhi office of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Smriti Irani also spoke about a “grudge” held by paternal relatives who questioned her decision to join politics and to the join the BJP.

Referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the national capital and what she witnessed in Delhi, Irani said, “So, when I speak against the Gandhis, I speak with that passion because I have witnessed all this (riots, poverty) as a kid. And no matter how successful you become in life, it stays… the chip on your shoulder stays.”

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