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UP Verdict 'A Lesson in Humility' for Gandhis, Says Smriti Irani

The Uttar Pradesh assembly poll verdict that saw BJP sweeping the state was a vote against dynasty politics, according to Union textiles minister Smriti Irani.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18pallavighcnnibn

Updated:April 9, 2017, 1:28 PM IST
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UP Verdict 'A Lesson in Humility' for Gandhis, Says Smriti Irani
File image of Smriti Irani. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh assembly poll verdict that saw the BJP sweeping the state was a vote against dynasty politics, according to Union textiles minister Smriti Irani.

In a column titled ‘A birthright to rule – No More!!!’ published on the NaMo App, Irani doesn’t spare any of the political families — be it the Gandhis, the Yadavs, the Chautalas, or the Reddys. But she reserves the harshest of criticisms for the Nehru-Gandhis — Irani had fought against Rahul Gandhi in the Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough of Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

“When the personal interest of a family is put above the interest of the nation the electorate does not take it in its stride because it sees through the political stunt and realizes that it is yet again the manifestation of an age old system seeking to make a comeback,” writes Irani.

Reacting sharply to Irani’s comment, Sushmita Dev, Silchar MP and daughter of veteran Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev, said it was not a crime to be part of a political family.

“A legacy of political family is not a crime but a legacy of riots is…. People want competence and they will accept any person who can deliver,” she said.

Talking about Amethi, the traditional stronghold where the Congress lost all four seats in this Assembly election, Irani said, “When the elected representative seeks to sell the same dream over and over again the electorate decides to teach the said haloed representative a lesson in humility. This lesson came in the form of the results of the just concluded assembly election results in Uttar Pradesh.”

She accuses the Congress and the Samajwadi Party of being hand-in-glove in denying development to Amethi.

“What of people who were blessed to be constituents of the prestigious Amethi which since 2004 held the enviable position of being the Lok Sabha Constituency of the scion of the Nehru Gandhi family; the family that was for all intents and purposes running the government at the Centre by proxy. The same faith was reposed in 2009, from 2012 the Congress and the Samajwadi Party were hand in hand in the Centre and there was again hope that with even the state government on the same side as their elected representative the wheels of development would finally move in the non-descript lanes and by-lanes of this dusty collection of hamlets,” she writes.

“However, for the electorate of Amethi and for the rest of Uttar Pradesh the period from 2012 till 2014 proved to be one of immense disappointments,” she adds.

She says the Opposition tried to “harp on old familial relations”, but the time of “the dynasties without any perceptible work on the ground is over”.

Irani writes, the belief in one’s “god given right to rule has been broken down piece by piece” by the electorate in UP.

Without talking about many dynasts in her own party, Irani says, “one thing that has been the hallmark of the BJP’s brand of politics is a fierce loyalty towards ideology and a very clear and cogent stand that talent shall always upstage blood lines”.

“In India, we have seen the downfall of many a political dynasty; be it the formidable Rajeshekhar Reddy, the Gogois in Assam or the Chautalas in Haryana. The Indian electorate which has a large proportion of young voters does not feel beholden to the erstwhile ruling dynasties (sic).”

She says that in the era of 24-hour news channels, politicians are expected to be “on call” 24x7. As social media has become preferred mode of interaction with the electorate, the dynasties have suffered the most as they have “not been able to cope with this change in voter sentiment, the new India which does not feel it owes its existence to certain families to ensure their political relevance.”

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