Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday rejected Congress’s claims that her 18-year-old daughter ran an “illegal” bar in Goa and said the first-year college student was targeted because of her mother’s vocal stand on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s “Rs 5,000 crore loot” in the National Herald case. The BJP leader also said that she will seek answers “in the court of law, and the court of people”.
In a presser, Irani said that the grand old party has “assassinated” and “publicly mutilated” her daughter’s character and dared Congress to show proof of any wrongdoing. “To the Gandhi family, which directed that this press conference be held against my child, I tell you to send Rahul Gandhi back to fight the Lok Sabha election in 2024 from Amethi, and he will lose again. That is my promise as a BJP worker and as a mother,” she said.
Asserting that her daughter does not run any bar, she said, “My daughter’s fault is that her mother holds a press conference on the loot of Rs 5,000 crore by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. To the gentleman who sat there and giggled as they assassinated my daughter’s character, I will see you in the court of law, and in the court of people.”
Earlier in the day, Irani’s daughter Zoish termed these allegations as “baseless” and said she was neither an owner nor operating the restaurant. In a statement, Zoish Irani’s lawyer Kirat Nagra denied the charges against her client, saying Irani’s political opponents have levelled various “concocted” allegations against her with a predetermined objective of defaming her for solely being the daughter of a political leader.
He further said Zoish has no control or oversight into the management and affairs of the eatery and her limited interaction at the facility was only while doing an internship program with the chef of Silly Souls Caf.
Zoish is currently pursuing her prospects in higher education, and “does not work at the eatery and has no knowledge, much less any involvement, with the events that have purportedly transpired in relation to the said eatery” the statement read.
The reaction came days after the Congress demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Irani as a minister for the same. Noting that it is a “very serious issue”, the grand old party also shared a copy of the show cause notice given to the bar, and said the excise official who gave the notice is reportedly being transferred after pressure from authorities.
(with inputs from PTI)