Union Minister distributed shoes in some villages of the constituency while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra termed this as an insult to the people of Amethi and said that the people of Amethi were not beggars.
LUCKNOW — The Union Minister Smriti Irani has distributed shoes in some villages of the Amethi constituency and this ‘shoe-war unleashed by the minister has taken politics to new depths.
Irani is challenging Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi which goes to polls in the fifth phase on May 6.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reacted sharply to this move of the minister to distribute shoes and termed this as an insult to the people of Amethi and said that the people of Amethi were not beggars.
Priyanka said Smriti Irani, a Union minister, distributed shoes in Amethi to suggest that the people of the constituency do not have shoes to wear. She thinks that she is belittling Rahul Gandhi, but she does not realise that she is, in fact, insulting the people of the area, Priyanka said.
“Ye Smriti Irani ji yahan aai aur unhone joote baante ye kehne ke liye ki inke pas joote bhi nahi hai pehene ke liye. Ye soch rahi hain ki Rahul ji ka apmaan kar rahi hai, ye kar rahi hain Amethi ki janta ka apmaan,” the Congress leader alleged.
Reacting to the allegation, Smriti Irani advised Priyanka not to ‘act’ and herself see the plight of the people by taking a tour of the constituency.
“Actor main reh chuki hoon toh natak Priyanka ji na hi karein to behtar hai. Jahan tak baat un gareeb nagrikon ki hai jinke paas pehne ko joote nahin the, toh kripya karke agar unme thodi bhi sharm ho to khud ja ke dekh lein ki sach kya hai,” Smriti said, in response to Priyanka’s accusation.
“The people of Amethi and Rae Bareli have self-respect. They have never begged before anyone for anything… She (Irani) is insulting them…let them (BJP) beg for votes,” Priyanka had also said, reports TimesNow.
Meanwhile, the residents of Hariharpur village reacted promptly and on Tuesday, held a demonstration with shoes in hand. They held up placards saying that Smriti Irani should give them her address so that they could send her the shoes back.
Man Singh, a local resident who led the demonstration, said, “We are not beggars that we will accept shoes. We may be earning less but we can buy shoes for ourselves. Smriti Irani should tell us where to send the shoes back.”
Another resident of the village, Ram Sundar, said that they had decided to return the shoes because Irani was using the issue to get votes, reports IANS.
“She is telling everyone that she has given shoes worth Rs 25,000 to the people of Hariharpur. Were we dying without shoes? She has never come to this village so how does she know that we are living without shoes?”
A local BJP leader Samir Shukla, meanwhile, said that the demonstrations were being sponsored by the Congress which is unnerved by Smriti Irani’s growing popularity in the constituency.
(With media inputs)