‘Hugging in Delhi, begging in Kerala, cheating in Karnataka’: Smriti Irani targets opposition

New Delhi: Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani took a dig at the opposition Bharat faction after the Communist Party of India (CPI) fielded Annie Raja against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad despite its alliance with the Congress party.

Irani said that on one hand, Left parties suggest that Gandhi should contest elections in Uttar Pradesh and express solidarity by hugging during meetings.

Taking aim at the Congress alliance, Irani said, ‘Yesterday I had said in Kerala, ‘Hugging in Delhi, begging in Kerala.’ The situation Congress is going through in Karnataka is, ‘hugging in Delhi, begging in Kerala, cheating in Karnataka.’

Irani, who is also known for her previous career in acting, urged women to exercise their voting rights responsibly, comparing political participation with fictional portrayals on television.

He criticized the political legacy of the Gandhi family, accusing them of exploiting power through superficial gestures.

“Saas-bahu serials are far away from the realities of life. Women who understand this can have successful social and political lives. Gandhi family looted the country by posing for photos and smiling. The Union Minister said, casting your vote is a big responsibility, it is not a game of TV serial.

The nomination of Annie Raja from Wayanad, supported by the CPI, further complicates the electoral dynamics in Kerala, where the Congress traditionally has influence. BJP, which is trying to establish a strong hold in the state, has made Kerala State President K Surendran a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi won from Wayanad by a significant margin of over 4.31 lakh votes, the largest margin in Kerala for that election. He secured 64.94% of the votes, winning over LDF candidate PP Suneer. Thushar Vellappally, representing the NDA, got around 78,000 votes, which was only 7.25% of the total.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) won 19 out of 20 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Of these, the Congress won 15 seats, its ally Indian Union Muslim League claimed two seats, the Revolutionary Socialist Party won one seat and the Kerala Congress (M) won one seat. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) won in Alappuzha.

Voting for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on all 20 seats in the south Indian state is scheduled to take place on April 26, while counting of votes will take place on June 4.