"Delhi mein hugging, Kerala mein begging, Karnataka mein thugging": Smriti Irani takes jibe at Congress

BENGALURU: Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani took a jibe at the Congress over its situation in Kerala, where, despite being partners in the opposition INDIA bloc, the Communist Party of India has fielded Annie Raja against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.

Irani on Friday said that on one side, the Left parties are asking Rahul Gandhi to go to Uttar Pradesh and contest, while on the other side, the same Left members hugged the Congress leader during the meeting of the INDI Alliance.

During her interaction with businessmen in Bengaluru, the Union Minister said, "The condition of the opposition is that they are fighting in Wayanad. Left parties are saying, Why does Rahul Gandhi not go to Uttar Pradesh and contest. But when the same Left goes to Delhi for an INDI Alliance meeting, they hug Rahul Gandhi."

Taking a swipe at the situation, she said, "Yesterday I said in Kerala, 'Delhi mein hugging, Kerala mein begging.' The situation through which the Congress is going in Karnataka is, 'Delhi mein hugging, Kerala mein begging, Karnataka mein thugging."

Smriti Irani, who is also a former actress, requested that the women cast their votes in huge numbers and said that casting votes is not a game of any TV serial; instead, it's a heavy responsibility.

"I request all the women that if we want everyone to take women seriously in politics, then we have to pay attention to important political issues. 'Saas-Bahu' serials are very far from the realities of life. Women who understand this can have a successful social and political life. The Gandhi family looted the country by clicking pictures and smiling. Casting your vote is a heavy responsibility, it is not a game of any TV serial," the Union Minister said.

Annie Raja on Wednesday filed her nomination for Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad. The CPI is a partner of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala.

While the CPI and the Congress are partners in the opposition INDIA bloc, the two parties are fierce contenders in Kerala with both parties pitting their strongest candidates against each other.

The BJP which is leaving no stone unturned to establish its complete dominance in the 2024 elections, has fielded Kerala State President K Surendran as a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate from the constituency.

Kerala, one of the few states where the Congress still has a strong presence, sends 20 parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul Gandhi won from Wayanad with a huge margin of over 4.31 lakh votes; the highest margin in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Kerala. He secured 64.94 per cent vote share defeating LDF candidate PP Suneer. The NDA had fielded BDJ (S) leader Tushar Vellapally who secured just around 78,000 votes which accounted for a mere 7.25 per cent.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) won 19 out of 20 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. While the Congress won 15 seats, its allies Indian Union Muslim League won two seats, the Revolutionary Socialist Party won one and the Kerala Congress (M) won one seat.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) won one seat in Alappuzha.

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


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