Union minister Smriti Irani on Sunday dared Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to send her to jail over her allegation of land grab against a charitable trust and vowed to speak for the people of Amethi.
The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday issued a legal notice to the Union human resource development minister over her “false and malicious” allegation that the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust had grabbed land of farmers in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Rahul Gandhi.
“I want to tell Rahul Gandhi that the bond that I share with the people of Amethi can’t be broken through a legal notice. Those who think that they can intimidate me with such tactics should know that I contested the Lok Sabha elections against the Congress vice-president from here when the Congress government was in power at the Centre. If I couldn’t be cowed down then, how can I be cowed down now,” Irani said during a rally here.
Irani had alleged that 65 acres acquired in 1980s from farmers for a bicycle factory was purchased through auction by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in February, 2015.
Talking to Hindustan Times later, Irani confirmed that the notice had been served to her by the UPCC at her Delhi residence. “I am perplexed as to why should a political party be so interested in matters related to a private trust.”
Irani also told the gathering that in the notice served to her, the Congress has asked her not to speak against the Gandhi family and the party.
Attacking the Congress vice-president, a defiant Irani said, “I may be served another notice for talking about this notice. I dare Rahul Gandhi to send me to jail if he can. But I will continue to raise my voice for the people of Amethi.”
She also assured to look into the case of agitating shiksha mitras who tried to stop her convoy. She said the HRD ministry would look into the matter as soon as it receives all documents from the UP government.