Raid on Congress office in Amethi, Union Minister Smriti Irani claims it’s “fake news”
Irritated by the relief work done by Rahul Gandhi, Amethi MP Smriti Irani, whose most important work during the lockdown was to play ‘antakshri’, is trying to stop us, said a Congress leader
The Congress office in Gauriganj — the administrative headquarters of Amethi district — was raided by the local administration at the behest of the BJP MP and Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday, alleged party leaders and workers.
According to the Congress leaders and activists, the raid on the party office was conducted “with intent to stop the distribution of the relief material sent by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the people of Amethi —the Lok Sabha constituency that he represented from 2004 to 2014”.
However, Union minister Smriti Irani countered the claim and dubbed the allegations as “fake news”. The District Magistrate of Amethi also echoed her views.
Head of the Congress media cell and party spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala raised the issue on Twitter on Sunday.
“Congress’ office in the Gauriganj District was raided without reason and without a warrant. Maybe the work being done by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress workers for the people of Amethi can’t be digested by the Yogi government,” tweeted Surjewala in Hindi.
Several Congress activists and grassroots workers took to the social media to express their anger. One of them wrote on Facebook: “Since the beginning of the lockdown, Rahul and Priyanka both have taken a special interest in Amethi and have been helping people in Amethi. When Avinash – a resident of Amethi who studies in Delhi fell ill – Priyanka Gandhi phoned him…Congress’ central leadership has been sending relief material for the people. This created an impact on the ground. People and the local media both praised the efforts made by Rahul Gandhi”.
“Irritated by the relief work, Irani, whose most important work during the lockdown was to play antakshri, is trying to stop the relief work done by the Congress for the people by misusing government machinery,” said the Congress activist.
“This whole episode shows nervousness of the BJP and Irani as they are not being able to do anything for the people of Amethi whereas Congress is working on the ground,” he added.
Another district level Congress leader told National Herald that the Amethi SDM had called up the head of the district Congress committee, Pradeep Singhal on Saturday and asked irrelevant questions.
“A day after, on Sunday, four officers visited the party office when the office was locked. What was the need to visit party office and warn chowkidar posted there?” asked the Congress leader.
The Economic Times has reported that Rahul Gandhi has sent 12,000 sanitizers, 20,000 face masks and 10,000 soaps for distribution to the people of Amethi.
UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu demanded an apology from the district administration.
However, re-tweeting Amethi DM, Irani attacked Congress for spreading “fake news”.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people took to Twitter and questioned the absence of Irani from the scene, amid the Corona crisis.
Another user took a jibe at Irani and said a true leader does not indulge in dirty politics in the times of pandemic.
“In the wake of coronavirus gripping the country and people facing hardships and starvation, this is being taken a noble gesture by the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi,” said a resident of Amethi over the phone.