A day after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to pay condolences to the family of party loyalist and nine term MLA late Ramsevak in his parliamentary constituency, union minister for human resources development Smriti Irani has sent saffron "Deepawali" gift to the women in select villages of Amethi Lok Sabha seat.
A saffron gift packet with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Irani on the cover, carrying a ‘sari’ inside is being distributed to 1,000 women in one village in each of the five assembly segments of Amethi.
Each village giving highest number of votes to Irani in each of the five assembly segments of Amethi has been selected for the distribution of gift packets.
"Yes, 1000 saris are being distributed as a Diwali gift in a village that gave behanji (Irani) highest number of votes in 2014 Lok Sabha elections," said senior BJP leader Uma Shankar Pandey, who worked as Irani’s election agent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"It’s a fine gift pack with pictures of Prime Minister and Behanji (Irani) on the cover and a sari from Surat. It is a Diwali gift to the women for giving a victory Behanji in the 2014 polls," he added.
As Rahul has a strong support base of women, with large number of women self-help groups set up in his constituency, Irani’s move is being considered an attempt to make inroads into Amethi, considered to be bastion of Nehru-Gandhi family.
"Behanji’s two representatives Vijay Gupta and Amit Sharma have arrived with Diwali gifts of 5000 saris in Amethi. They distributed one thousand saris each in Baraulia, Pakergaon, and Jarai Kala villages in Gauriganj, Tiloi and Jagdishpur assembly segments respectively on Sunday. Two thousand more saris (one thousand in each village) will be distributed in Ramganj and Bhawanipur villages of Amethi and Salon assembly segments on Monday," added Pandey.
Rahul and Irani had paid a visit to Baraulia village following an incident of fire (gutting nearly 60 hutments) after Lok Sabha elections.
Rahul along with Priyanka had distributed relief material to the villagers on May 21. Later Irani had met the villagers and distributed relief materials on June 19 in her first visit to the constituency after she lost the Lok Sabha seat during the general elections.