NEW DELHI:Launching a scathing attack on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday questioned the alleged sale of land meant for a bicycle factory to a trust run by his family. The Congress, however, dismissed her allegations as “wild and baseless”.
Virtually taking on the Congress scion on his home turf — Amethi, the HRD Minister, who was addressing a rally, called Rahul a “liar” and claimed that the Gandhi family had failed to deliver on their development promises to Amethi. She claimed that 65 acres of farmers’ land, acquired at subsidised rate for setting up Samrat Bicycles factory, was sold to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust on February 24.
“Narendara Modi is not a liar but Rahul is. Grabbing 65 acres of farmers’ land in Amethi is proof of it,” she said. “Sixty-five acres of farmers’ land was acquired for a (bicycle) factory in the 80s. Did the factory come up, did anyone get job, what happened to the land?” she asked.” “The land should go back to the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation,” she added. Irani said Rahul Gandhi has been saying he will not let anyone take an inch of farmers’ land. “He is indicating perhaps that that he wants to take the land for himself,” she said.
Reacting to Irani’s allegations, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Samrat cycles land was closed down and the land belonging to them was auctioned The Rajiv Gandhi Trust procured the land under court orders in an open transparent fashion.”