Rae Bareli/Kolkata: Priyanka Vadra on Wednesday asked Smriti Irani why the IIIT in Amethi has not moved forward despite her being the human resource development minister. Irani questioned what the Gandhi family had done in its bastion for the past 60 years.
“They said Smriti Irani has done something for Amethi. Then as HRD minister, she should look into the IIIT. Why has it not moved forward,” Priyanka Vadra asked while speaking to reporters in Rae Bareli.
The Indian Institute of Information Technology in Amethi was inaugurated by Congress vice president and Lok Sabha member Rahul Gandhi in 2005.
Last year, the Allahabad institute it is affiliated to wrote to the HRD ministry saying it was finding it difficult to run it.
Priyanka Vadra also contrasted her visit to Amethi with that of the HRD minister, saying: “I usually come quietly and meet the workers.”
Irani – who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amethi but lost – was in the constituency on Tuesday to celebrate the Narendra Modi government’s one year in office.
She promised to pay for the insurance of 25,000 women, announced a rail rake of fertiliser and accused Rahul Gandhi of neglecting the needs of the people of Amethi in the 10 years that he has represented it.
Priyanka Vadra has not contested elections, but campaigns and works actively in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented in the Lok Sabha by her mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Replying to Priyanka Vadra’s questions, Irani told the media in Midnapore in West Bengal on Wednesday that Priyanka was probably clueless about the IIIT issue.
“I think that Mrs. (Priyanka Gandhi) Vadra has not done her homework. Now for the first time, a winning candidate (Rahul Gandhi) is asking a losing candidate for development having ruled for so many years,” Irani said.
She said it was astounding that while the Gandhi family has ruled that bastion (Amethi and Rae Bareli) for 60 years, they have done nothing there.
Irani also questioned Priyanka Vadra’s sudden visit, saying: “Is Rahul (Gandhi) not capable enough to defend his own turf that he needs additional ammunition?”
“How time flies. Priyanka did not know who I was,” Irani said, referring to the 2014 general elections campaign when Priyanka Vadra had asked: “Who is Smriti Irani?”