BJP leader and Union Textiles minister Smriti Irani has reached out to the party's women activists in Amethi by sending 10,000 sarees as Diwali gift
BJP leader and Union Textiles minister Smriti Irani has reached out to the party’s women activists in Amethi by sending 10,000 sarees as Diwali gift, a report by Hindustan Times said. Irani had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 against Rahul Gandhi from Amethi. She lost by a margin of over 1 lakh votes. Since then, Irani has kept herself engaged with the people of Amethi and visited the parliamentary constituency many times.
Party workers say that despite losing the elections, Irani has maintained a link with the people of Amethi and emerged as a strong contender for the seat. After the electoral loss in 2014, Irani had sent sarees for women whose villages had voted in favour of her candidature. But the Diwali gifts this year are intended to cheer women activists and keep them active in view of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The recipients of the sarees told HT that they are delighted at the gesture extended towards them by Irani. What matters, they said, is that the Union Minister has remembered them on the occasion of Diwali. Describing the gift as ‘Didi’s love’, Asha Bajpai, the party’s women’s wing chief in the district, said, “More than the saree per se, it’s the gesture that matters more. In 2019 LS elections, we would ensure that ‘didi’ springs a surprise here.”
BJP’s district unit chief Uma Shankar Pandey said that Irani regularly visits Amethi and has therefore emerged as a strong contender for the seat. “Don’t see sarees with political glasses. They merely reflect that the leader wants to share joy with people,” Pandey said.
Meanwhile, Irani is expected to visit Amethi again after Diwali when she will meet the party workers and discuss the poll strategy.
In the previous general elections, the BJP had fielded Irani from here just a few days ahead of the polling. Many say that had the BJP declared Irani’s name earlier, the scenario could have been different. While Rahul got 4.08 lakh votes to win the elections, Irani stood second with 3 lakh votes.