LUCKNOW: Union Minister and BJP MP from Amethi Smriti Irani has decided to make an abode for herself in Amethi, her Parliamentary constituency.
Irani, on Monday, sealed the deal for 11 bighas (around 14850 sq ft) land for Rs 12.11 lakh in Gauriganj area of Amethi, fulfilling one of her commitments to her people. This makes Irani the third MP from Amethi to have a residence in the high-profile constituency.
She had arrived in Amethi on Monday to complete the purchase from a local resident Phoolmati Devi. Irani got the registry of the land done by paying a stamp duty of Rs 50,800.
In fact, the BJP MP had made this promise to the people of Tiloi area of Amethi soon after defeating the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his bastion in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by a margin of over 55,000 votes.
Promising to invite people from Amethi and Rae Bareli to the 'bhumi pujan' ceremony of the residence that will be built shortly, Irani, after finalising the paperwork for the land, condemned at the Congress leadership for failing to strike a chord with the people of Amethi despite representing the constituency multiple times in the Lok Sabha.
"They (Gandhis) did not find it necessary to have a base among their people," she said.
"I have fulfilled my promise to my people of Amethi which has been my home since 2014. People feel the difference then and now after the exit of Gandhi scion. We have a long list of development works done in Amethi. Look at neighbouring Rae Bareli, its MP (Sonia Gandhi) is missing and no development work is taking place there," commented the Union Minister.
Irani's decision makes her only the third MP from Amethi to also have a residence there. Interestingly, her 2019 Lok Sabha win from Amethi was also the third Congress defeat from this seat since it came into being. The other two MPs -- Ravindra Pratap Singh of Janata Party and Dr Sanjay Sinh -- who chose to have a residence here were the only two non-Congress MPs to have held this seat. Ravindra Pratap Singh had won from Amethi post-emergency 1977 election, and Dr Sanjay Sinh had contested on a BJP ticket defeating Congress leader Captain Satish Sharma in the 1998 elections.
"The people who have showered me with their love and affection wanted an MP who is available among them. During the pandemic, we connected with the people through e-chaupals and, before that, I reached out to them through programmes like Didi Aapke Dwar (Didi at your doorstep)," said Irani, who is fondly called 'didi' in her constituency.
She added, "People always wondered if they will ever have an MP who would reach out to the villages. At least, I consider myself fortunate that I was able to fulfill this."
However, political experts feel Irani's decision to buy land in Amethi, just two years after her win, shows the BJP's intent to retain its grip on this Congress bastion that the saffron brigade wrested from them in 2019.