Smriti Irani savours her huge victory against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi with a couplet
Her job in Amethi hadn’t been made any easy by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samajwadi Party alliance that decided against fielding any candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the seats represented in parliament for years by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia.Updated: May 24, 2019 08:08 IST
Her rivals had jeered when Smriti Irani, 43, was named the BJP’s candidate against Rahul Gandhi five years ago. This was the second time the BJP had set her up as a candidate against a strong opponent just before the election.
Smriti Irani predictably lost the 2014 election but she did hugely narrow down Rahul Gandhi’s winning margin from 3.7 lakh to just over 1 lakh. Unlike 2004 when she moved away from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk from where she had contested her first parliamentary election, this time she kept her focus sharply on Amethi.
On Thursday, she pulled off what had been considered impossible.
As Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat at a news conference long before the last vote was counted, Irani put out a line from a poem to underline that nothing was impossible.
“Kaun kehta hai aasmaan mein suraakh nahin ho sakta (who says the sky is impenetrable),” she tweeted, quoting from a couplet by poet Dushyant Kumar.
Her job in Amethi hadn’t been made any easy by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samajwadi Party alliance that decided against fielding any candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the seats represented in parliament for years by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia.
Smriti Irani and the BJP had moved in swiftly to hammer the Congress president after word got out that the Congress chief could also contest from Wayanad in Kerala. Smriti Irani told reporters that this was a sign that Rahul Gandhi would dump the constituency after ruining it for 15 years.
Rahul had first won the Amethi seat in 2004 when his mother and then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi shifted to Rae Bareli to claim the legacy of former prime minister the late Indira Gandhi.