HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Smriti Irani banks on 'anti-Rahul' wave in Amethi

Manish Chandra Pandey, Autocar India  Amethi, April 07, 2014
First Published: 14:00 IST(7/4/2014) | Last Updated: 00:22 IST(8/4/2014)

Smriti ‘Tulsi’ Irani, the original super bahu of Indian TV soap, sought to negate the ‘sacrificial lamb’ theory by holding a seven-hour road show in Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi constituency. She is BJP’s candidate from Amethi.

Undeterred by the fact that the BJP candidate here in 2009 had lost his deposit and that the party won only once (1998), Irani stormed the Gandhi bastion in a huge cavalcade, leaving behind long traffic jams, excited youths and a trail of autograph seekers.

“I am banking on the anti-Rahul wave in this constituency as well as the pro-Modi wave across the country,” she told HT while accepting bouquets and greetings from slogan-shouting party cadres. She appeared satisfied with the first-day response of the people to her show held at 23 places.

Irani, BJP’s vice president, chose to give AAP candidate Kumar Vishvas a royal ignore, concentrating exclusively on Gandhi to portray herself as his real challenger. And in order to mean business, she announced she would raise a query per day for the Congress MP the minute she stepped on Amethi soil.

“Why is Amethi, which has been sending the Gandhi scion to parliament repeatedly, wallowing in neglect and darkness? Now that elections are here, you would be getting improved power supply. But you know that this would last till May 7, the voting day,” she says at Musafirkhana.

Is she seeking divine intervention, having kick-started her campaign on the final day of the nine-day Navaratra after her ticket was announced on the first? “I am banking on the love of the people as well as the anti-Congress mood sweeping across the country,” she says.

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