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Sonia taking help of PM’s name to hide own failures: Irani

Smirti Irani

BJP today took on Sonia Gandhi over her barbs at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying she was targeting him to hide her failures, and likened her praise for Rahul Gandhi over his stir against land ordinance with the case of a mother patting her son’s back for “usurping” farmers’ land, a reference to the recent Amethi land row.

Seeking to turn the tables on Congress over its president’s ‘hawabaazi’ (empty talk) barb at Modi, Irani said the real ‘hawabaazi’ would be Rahul Gandhi declaring himself to be a messiah of farmers as she attacked the Congress vice president over the Amethi land row.

“While guiding her decimated party, Sonia Gandhi today took the help of Modi’s name to hide the failures of her policies. She said nothing is happening on the ground. It is laughable that those who emptied the country’s treasury are attacking somebody who has been able to bring development on the ground,” Union Minister Smriti Irani said while referring to alleged scams under the UPA rule.

Asked about reports that Congress was going slow on anointing Rahul Gandhi as its president, she told a press conference that Rahul mattered little for BJP and claimed that she had been able to reduce his victory margin in a big way in Amethi with only 20 days of campaigning.

“Why is Congress not willing to make him its president is a question for it to answer, not BJP,” she said.

The Congress president had today attacked Modi, saying he has been “reduced to unedifying flip flops” and most of his poll promises were nothing more than “hawabaazi” (empty talk).

Responding to the attack on the prime minister, Irani said it was Congress which did “hawabaazi” for 40 years on the issue of One-Rank-One-Pension while Modi had fulfilled that promise in 18 months.

The HRD minister also raked up the Amethi land row to counter Sonia Gandhi’s dig at the Modi government over its U-turn on the land ordinance following sustained protests from Congress.

The leaders of Congress who claim to be sympathetic to farmers have “maintained” silence on their vice president “usurping” the land of farmers in his constituency in the name of giving them jobs, charged Irani.

Pitted by BJP against Rahul in the Congress pocket borough of Amethi in the Lok Sabha elections, Irani put up a spirited fight but lost.

Meanwhile, asked about the Pakistan army chief’s comments targeting India, she said India had won every time that the neighbouring country had forced a war on it.