Ahead of Modi govt’s swearing-in, Smriti draws big cheer at Yogi’s luncheon meet
Smriti Irani, MP-elect from Amethi who trounced Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his family bastion, was the cynosure of all eyes at the Wednesday’s lunch thrown by chief minister Yogi Adityanath for party MPs from Uttar Pradesh.Updated: May 30, 2019 14:43 IST
Smriti Irani, MP-elect from Amethi who trounced Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his family bastion, was the cynosure of all eyes at the Wednesday’s lunch thrown by chief minister Yogi Adityanath for party MPs from Uttar Pradesh.
Irani drew loud cheer from the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the moment Adityanath began applauding her soon after her name was called out by party general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal.
Though cheers also went up for Kannauj MP-elect Subrat Pathak, who defeated Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, and Bareilly’s MP-elect Santosh Gangwar for winning his eighth Lok Sabha election including consecutive victories from 1989 to 2009, it was Irani who stole the show.
“The loudest applause was for Smriti Irani with everyone hailing her feat in the Congress pocket borough,” a BJP leader said.
After rushing to her constituency to carry the bier of a party workers who was killed in Amethi barely three days after the BJP victory, Irani travelled to Mumbai where she walked barefoot to the famous Siddhivinayak temple.
Barring five MPs from UP – Prime Minister and Varanasi MP-elect Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Maneka Gandhi (Sultanpur), Varun Gandhi (Pilibhit) and Ram Shankar Katheria (Etawah) – remaining 57 were present at Adityanath’s luncheon meet.
Eight lawmakers of Yogi Adityanath government, including three ministers, have won Lok Sabha election. There are speculations on the likelihood of at least one of the three UP ministers finding a place in the Union cabinet.
Welcoming the newly-elected MPs, Adityanath said UP had contributed 64 MPs (62 BJP, 2 Apna Dal) to BJP’s tally of 303 in Lok Sabha.
He credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the party’s victory and thanked the people for voting for a strong India.
None of the MPs were willing to hazard a guess on their chances, or that of others, in the Modi ministry.
“It’s the prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide his team,” said Rita Bahuguna Joshi, UP minister and MLA from Lucknow (Cant) who has won from Allahabad Lok Sabha seat.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had won 71 seats from UP and two more seats were bagged by its ally Apna Dal – a feat for which it got maximum representation in the first Modi government with 10 ministers representing various regions from Bundelkhand to central UP, Purvanchal and west.
According to BJP leaders, the state would continue to feature majorly in Modi’s scheme of things despite a dip in its tally from 71 in 2014 to 62 in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“Winning 62 seats on its own despite the caste alliance of SP-BSP in Uttar Pradesh was a great achievement. UP and West Bengal played a key role in the party’s landslide victory,” a senior BJP leader said, adding that the two states would get key representation.
UP minister Satyadev Pachouri, who is a sitting lawmaker from Kanpur’s Govind Nagar assembly segment, has won the Kanpur Lok Sabha seat while another UP minister SPS Baghel, an MLA from Tundla (reserved) seat, won from Agra parliamentary constituency.
Pradeep Chaudhary, a lawmaker from Gangoh assembly segment, won Kairana Lok Sabha seat that the BJP had lost in the 2018 by-polls to the Samajwadi Party candidate Tabassum Hasan who had contested on a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket.
Akshayvar Lal Gond, BJP MLA from Balha assembly segment, won from Bahraich Lok Sabha seat. The BJP had fielded Gond after its sitting MP Savitri Bai Phule rebelled and joined the Congress.
Manikpur MLA RK Singh Patel won the Banda Lok Sabha seat defeating another BJP rebel Shyama Charan Gupta while Pratapgarh Lok Sabha seat was won by Apna Dal MLA Sangam Lal Gupta who contested on a BJP ticket.
Rajveer Singh Diler, BJP MLA from Iglas, won the Hathras Lok Sabha seat while Upendra Singh Rawat, BJP legislator from Zaidpur, won from Barabanki.
Besides these eight BJP MLAs, three legislators from SP and BSP have become MPs. As a result, by-polls will be held in 11 assembly constituencies.
First Published: May 30, 2019 14:43 IST