AMETHI : Union Textiles and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday launched a blistering attack on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and accused him of paying lip service to development. Speaking at a public rally here in Uttar Pradesh, the parliamentary constituency of the Gandhi scion, Irani said the Congress leader was making fun of development in Gujarat but has no answer for the lack of it in his own backyard in Amethi.
"This state was once ruled by the Congress and the Gandhi clan has been representing Amethi for long. Now is the time for them to answer the people on why there has been no development," the Union Minister, who unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll against Gandhi, said.
Amethi, which has traditionally been the Congress's bastion, witnessed a high-pitched poll battle in the last Lok Sabha election between the two.
The Bharatiya Janata Party Minister accused Gandhi of failing the people of Amethi and cheating the farmers by grabbing their land through the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
"A vast stretch of land was given by farmers long back for construction of the Samrat cycle factory and when nothing much happened there is an effort to occupy the land illegally and despite eviction notice they are not letting the land go," she added.
She said if Rahul Gandhi was listening to her speech, he should answer a lot of questions.
"Rahulji should answer why it took a BJP government at the Centre and in the state to get Rs 15 crore released to stop the land erosion in Peepri village; to offload the first rake of fertilisers through a train; to build toilets in schools and offices," she asked.
It was also for the first time that a tuberculosis unit has been set up in the district hospital, Irani said while continuing her tirade against the Congress leader.
She assured the huge gathering with whom she "struck a bond of a sister" that she would always be with them and would look after the constituency.