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Smriti Irani Skirts Questions on Centre While Propagating its Achievements in Ahmedabad

When the union minister was quizzed over the Centre’s plans to reduce excise on petrol, diesel and LPG, she answered saying that it was up to the Gujarat excise department minister to take a decision.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:June 2, 2018, 5:03 PM IST
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Smriti Irani Skirts Questions on Centre While Propagating its Achievements in Ahmedabad
Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani interacts with the media on completion of 4 years of the NDA government in Ahmedabad. (PTI)
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Ahmedabad: Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani was in Ahmedabad on Saturday to propagate achievements of the central government in the last four years. While she did list various scheme launched and implemented by the Narendra Modi-led government, she chose not to directly answer questions about issues other than her department.

When asked what she thought about opposition parties coming together to form a grand alliance against the BJP in the general elections next year, Irani said, “This is indicative of the fact that opposition parties cannot win on the basis of their own popularity and prowess. They are struggling for survival. The coming together of several parties against the BJP is a backhanded compliment to Narendra Modi, which shows that they cannot win on their own.”

When the union minister was quizzed over the Centre’s plans to reduce excise on petrol, diesel and LPG, she answered saying that it was up to the Gujarat excise department minister to take a decision on whether the duty should be reduced or not.

When specifically asked if the central government had any plans to reduce excise on petroleum, she replied, “I am not the petroleum minister nor the finance minister. If I say something, it would be an irresponsible comment. All I can say is that the government will take a decision that will benefit the common man.”

Irani, who was the union HRD minister until July 2016, also evaded questions on when the new education policy be announced and why was there a delay in doing so. “The draft for the new education policy was put up in public domain and the current HRD minister has received many responses on it. Since I was the HRD minister earlier, it would be impolite for me to speak about it. In either case, the HRD minister has spoken extensively about it. I believe he is better disposed to give an answer to this question.”

When asked about NDA allies like the Shiv Sena and Telugu Desam Party distancing themselves from the ruling party and how her party expects to win without them, Irani replied it was best to ask BJP national president Amit Shah this question. “The NDA, led by the BJP, will comfortably win the 2019 general election. The BJP has said many times that it is willing to jointly contest with the Shiv Sena but Amit Shah is not addressing this conference and it will be best to ask him this question,” said the union textiles minister.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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