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.
“They alone live, who live for others.”
― Swami Vivekananda#BharatJodoYatra #BharatJodoBegins pic.twitter.com/0KkOy3CZA1
— Bharat Jodo (@bharatjodo) September 7, 2022
On the day Bharat Jodo Yatra was launched (7 September), however, Congress party shared videos from Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Vivekananda memorial.
Shri @RahulGandhi paid his respects at the Vivekananda Memorial earlier today.#BharatJodoBegins pic.twitter.com/RVQSzKdWC4
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 7, 2022