As theBJP fielded its ministers to step up its attack on the Congress, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday targeted Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying “common families will have to earn their living” and the Gandhis could be an exception because they were “not used to working in the sun to earn money”.
Irani was hitting back at Rahul over his charge that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s family received money from former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
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Stating that Swaraj was a “woman who works hard and whose daughter has worked hard to earn”, Irani said: “People in this country know that a woman coming from a normal family has to toil hard to make space for herself in the society and its economy. It is generally seen that children of such women also work hard. Congress may have an exception in the Gandhi family where they don’t have to sweat it out in the sun to earn their livelihood. I completely reject their charges (against Swaraj).”
Criticising the Congress’s bid to stall Parliament, she said: “The Congress is running away from discussion as they have no proof. What do they know about khoon pasiney ki kamai (hard-earned money)? It is easier to give a one-and-a-half minute bite than a one-and-a-half hour speech,” she said.
On Sonia describing Swaraj’s defence in Parliament on Thursday as “theatrics,” Irani shot back: “Is Parliament a theatre?” She said “such a statement is disrespect to the people’s mandate… The Congress, especially Rahul, should not work to reduce Parliament’s respect.”
Referring to the Youth Congress’s protest outside Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s residence on Wednesday, the minister alleged that the “boys of Congress” removed their shirt to protest “naked” against the Speaker’s decision to suspend 25 Congress MPs. “As a woman I want to ask this. The Speaker is the honour of Parliament… Is this the value Rahul Gandhi wants to give to Congress?” she said.