Smriti Irani visits Amethi, attacks Rahul on food park issue

Smriti Irani visits Amethi, attacks Rahul on food park issue

Union Minister Smriti Irani today attacked Rahul Gandhi on his home turf on the food park issue, charging that he was more interested in protecting the interests of a business house and was ignoring the plight of farmers.

On a visit to the district to meet farmers affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorm, the BJP leader said, "When Rahul Gandhi spoke for the first time in Amethi, he was talking for a business house. He did not speak for the farmers of Amethi.

"If you look at the documents of district officials, you will understand that from 2010 to 2014, the land was not provided by Congress. Whatever help had to be given for gas was not given for long," she said to a question on the food park.

The food park issue was recently raised in Lok Sabha by Rahul Gandhi who attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of practicing "politics of revenge" by cancelling the food processing plant.

Irani said that Rahul has been "missing" from his constituency and that the dreams shown by three generations of Congress can only be fulfilled by the Narendra Modi government.

Asked if she had planned her visit in view of Gandhi's forthcoming visit to Amethi, she said, "Rahul Gandhi's timing is suspect, not mine".

"The timing of Mr Gandhi is suspect. If you look at the announcement, there were some press reports about my visit here and one and a half hours after my announcement, Gandhi's office announced his plans to come.

"The MP of Amethi has been missing from here. I am glad, at least, to follow my footsteps, the people of Amethi will get to see him," she said.

Earlier, Irani was welcomed by the Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjiv Baliyan.
From Inhauna she drove to Raja Fatepur in Tiloi Assembly segment and addressed a kisan panchayat where she highlighted schemes announced by the Centre for farmers. 

Talking to reporters, Irani charged that the Nehru-Gandhi family utilised Amethi for their political existence, but didn't work much for the area.

"Work which Nehru-Gandhi failed to do in three generations will be done by Prime Minister Modi in one year. Congress failed to double track Lucknow-Varanasi rail route in 10 years and now it will be done by our government," she said.

Irani said that she would come to Amethi again on May 28 for a programme related to the Prime Minister Suraksha Yojna scheme.

Baliyan, who was accompanying the Union Minister, said while all MPs visited their constituencies to take stock of the situation in view of unseasonal rains, Rahul did not have time to do so.

Rahul visited Punjab, but didn't come to meet farmers in Amethi, he said.

Baliyan said farmers would get full compensation for crop loss and if the assessment was not done, it would be completed within two days.

The minister said he would talk to the Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ramvilas Paswan today itself and gave an assurance that crops would be purchased.

He said the Centre has announced a compensation at the rate of Rs 13,000 per hectare and for the state at the rate of Rs 4,000 per hectare.

He said if the farmers were not getting proper compensation, it was due to the alleged connivance of the SP government and Congress. 

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