Exclusive: Smriti Irani says chapter on Rahul Gandhi is closed

By: Sandra Marina Fernandes
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Exclusive interview with Smriti Irani
Bangalore, Feb 7: The Art of Living foundation on Friday organised the 6th International Women's Conference here and well known dignitaries from across the world were present to attend the conference.

OneIndia spoke to BJP Vice President Smriti Irani, who was here to address the gathering. Following are the excerpts from the interview:

OneIndia: Keeping in mind the recent death of Nido Taniam, how does the BJP propose security to the people of the North-East community?

Smriti Irani: When Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji lead the NDA into power, we were the first government in the history of the country which constitued a ministry specifically to concentrate on the needs of the northeast. We recognised the fact that the northeast was devoid of development, we recognised the special needs of the northeast and today it is unfortunate that our children from the northeast, who go out in search of better education and employment are subjected to such cruelty.

It is ironic that I am here speaking about the global connect, but the disconnect with the northeast within our own country, is a matter of deep concern.

In the BJP lead NDA government in 2014, one will see not only security for every individaul in the country, including citizens from the northeast but one will also see opportunities of employment and education are strenghtened in the north east.

OneIndia: The AAP made a very strong connect with the common man. People say that the BJP is cashing on Narendra Modi's tea-seller background for the Lok Sabha elections. What are your thoughts?

Smriti Irani: I think is it unfortunate to say that we are encashing on Narendra Modi's humble beginnings. I am of the opinion that the AAP ate into the votes and the constituency of the Congress party and not the BJP. Of the 100 votes if 90 came from the Congress constituency, maybe ten came from those who supported the BJP earlier. The political gimmickry that the AAP is indulging in on the streets of the nation's capital, have brought back our voters and support to us.

AAP is a matter of concern for the Congress and not the BJP. AAP had a choice between satta (power) and sidhaanth (principles), and they willingly sacrificed sidhaanth, which they said that they were redefining.

Irani: AAP is a matter of concern for the Congress and not the BJP

They formed satta with Congress, whom they claimed that was the msot corrupt political organisation in the country. Those who could not answer Narendra Modi on good governance, attacked him on personal basis.

Mani Shankar Aiyar and some other Congressmen were extremely indecent in their attack on Narendra Modi's humble origins, which saw a very emotional response from the BJP support base. The BJP karyakartas are extremely proud of someone like Narendra Modi who defines leadership through the virtue of their own hardwork and not by the accident of birth of being born into a political party.

OneIndia: How does the BJP plan to tackle Congress, AAP and other regional parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections?

Smriti Irani: There is a background swell against the Congress led- UPA. The AAP has officially become a part of the Congress led-UPA, Hnece looking at the ground swell against the Congress-led UPA , I am of the opinion that the BJP'S Mission of 272+ is something that we shall attain.
Survery after survey in various newspapers and news channels also reaffirm what we are saying.

OneIndia: What are your thoughts on Rahul Gandhi if he is named as the Congress' Prime Ministerial candidate?

Smriti Irani: After his interview with Arnab Goswami on Times Now, the chapter on Rahul Gandhi is closed.

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