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"If Rahul Gandhi is here...": Smriti Irani in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): Union Minister Smriti Irani on Monday urged the people of Kerala to ensure defeat of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad as he deprived Amethi of development and he will do the same in his constituency of the southern state. Crediting herself for having ousted Rahul Gandhi from the Gandhi family Lok Sabha bastion in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, she said that the Congress leader, who was elected as a member of Parliament from Kerala's Wayanad, should be defeated in the upcoming general elections next year. "It was me who sent him to Wayanad from Uttar Pradesh. What was the reason behind (Congress) sending him to Wayanad? When he was an MP there, 80 per cent of the people didn't have electricity, the district collector didn't have an office, there was no fire station. When the Wayanad MP (Rahul Gandhi) was in Amethi, there was no medical college. There was no Sainik School or Kendriya Vidyalaya. When he left (in 2019), all this was possible," the Union Minister said. "If he (Rahul Gandhi) is here (Wayanad), the same (previous) situation as Amethi will be in Wayanad. So you (people of Kerala) should ensure that he is not here," she told while addressing the state-level women's labour convention's inauguration organised by the Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). It is pertinent to mention that Irani had defeated Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Amethi which has long been a Gandhi family bastion, where the likes of Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have been MPs. Irani had to taste defeat from Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, she ended the long-prevailing Gandhi family bastion in the 2019 general elections. Rahul Gandhi, then, had contested from Amethi and Wayanad in which he lost the former and emerged victorious in the latter. However, he was disqualified as an MP earlier this year after being convicted in a defamation case in Surat.

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