Smriti Irani accuses Rahul Gandhi of treason & declaring war on India at Karnataka BJP Janaspandana

Irani chose to focus on Rahul's Bharat Jodo Yatra at an event meant to highlight the BJP government's achievements.

ByAnusha Ravi Sood

Published Sep 10, 2022 | 9:29 PMUpdatedSep 10, 2022 | 9:29 PM

Union Minister Smriti Irani with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at BJP's Janaspandana event on 10 September. (Supplied)

Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani on Saturday, 10 September, accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of treason and declaring war on the Indian State.

Irani was speaking at the BJP government’s anniversary celebrations in Karnataka.

“I am shocked that Rahul Gandhi in a public event said he used to fight political parties but now, through his Bharat Jodo Yatra, is fighting the Indian State,” Irani claimed.

“Governments come and go, even Indira Gandhi lost elections, but never had she turned against the country; but a son of the same family is calling for war against the country and the structure of the Indian State. They are so desperate for power that they declare war on the Indian State,” Irani said in a fiery speech urging BJP workers to ask their Congress counterparts in Karnataka if this “treason” was acceptable.

What Rahul Gandhi said

Irani’s remarks were based on Rahul Gandhi’s statements during a press conference in Tamil Nadu as part of Bharat Jodo Yatra on Friday.

“The BJP has taken control of all the institutions of the country. They have inserted their people in most of the institutions. We are not fighting just a political party anymore. Now, it is between structure of the Indian State and the Opposition,” Rahul Gandhi had said.

Irani, who the BJP has consciously developed as Rahul Gandhi’s political nemesis, was the guest of honour at the Janaspandana event to mark three years of the BJP government in Karnataka and Basavaraj Bommai’s first year in office.

What featured prominently in the minister’s speech, however, was what the Narendra Modi-led Union government had allocated to Karnataka and criticism of the Congress, specifically Rahul Gandhi.

Irani, who attended the event since National President of the BJP Jagat Prakash Nadda couldn’t, also slammed Rahul Gandhi for interacting with a controversial Christian priest in Tamil Nadu — Pastor Ponniah.

No respect for Vivekananda?

In a sharp speech, Smriti Irani accused Rahul Gandhi of ignoring Swami Vivekananda despite starting the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanniyakumari.

“You started your yatra from Kanniyakumari but couldn’t you have the common courtesy of bowing down to Swami Vivekananda? You won’t do it, because Swami Vivekananda is a national saint and not a member of the Gandhi family,” Irani alleged.

On the day Bharat Jodo Yatra was launched (7 September), however, Congress party shared videos from Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Vivekananda memorial.