NEW DELHI: Escalating attack on Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Smriti Irani Wednesday said that the Congress vice president has failed to address grievances of farmers in Amethi and has been ignoring them in his constituency.
Irani led a delegation of farmers from Pipari Jamalpur village in Amethi constituency to Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti. The human resource development minister said that the villagers had boycotted the last Lok Sabha polls as neither the Congress leader nor any of his representatives visited the village which faces the wrath of river Gomti during monsoons.
The farmers raised the issue of soil erosion caused due to change of direction by Gomati River during rainy season, which effects day-today life. Besides, many farmers have lost land due to change in course of the river.
“This village belongs to a Lok Sabha constituency whose MP till today has not tried to address their issue. The villagers had boycotted the polls as they had lost faith in the democratic process. However, I have assured them that the Narendra Modi government will try to address the issues within the democratic process and restore their faith in the system," Irani told reporters after meeting Bharti.
She alleged that Gandhi has not visited the village even once in last 10 years and has been missing from his constituency. The farmer's delegation comprised BJP's Amethi district president Durgesh Tripathi and some villagers from Pipri.
While assuring farmers to look into the matter and take it up with Uttar Pradesh government, Bharti accused Gandhi of only using his family name for political gains and doing little for the cause of farmers in his constituency.
"It is heartening to see that Smriti has devoted attention to Amethi. She has come to my ministry with their grievances while look at the man who is only making good use of his family name," she said.
Irani and Gandhi have been engaged in war of words over scrapping of a food park in Amethi which the Congress leader said was shut down by the Centre as part of politics of revenge. In May, the union minister made several development-related announcements. Both leaders also sparred on twitter over the ban on a student group by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras by Irani based on an anonymous complaint accusing the group of trying to spread hatred towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi through provocative pamphlets and posters.