Uttar Pradesh: In a massive blow to Congress, Smriti Irani defeated Rahul Gandhi by a margin of 55,120 votes in Amethi, UP.
The Congress president was trailing in his bastion as Irani consolidated her lead. However, when the counting commenced early on Thursday, Rahul was leading the race. The tables turned quickly as the gap between votes polled for Irani and Gandhi steadily increased throughout the day and ultimately resulted in a massive loss for Rahul.
Speaking to News18 after the victory, the union leader said her poll campaign focussed on highlighting the unfulfilled promises of the Congress in Amethi.
“We were not concentrating on an individual but on the concept of somebody given the responsibility but not fulfilling it. It has been a consistent effort since the past five years for us. Got the first signs of change in 2014 itself. My organisation persisted with its efforts in the constituency and it bore fruits,” Irani said.
While Congress continued to assume that the family loyalty factor would continue to work, Irani stressed how a record number of toilets and houses had been built by the Centre for the poor in Amethi since the Modi government came to power.
The BJP had fielded Irani yet again in the hope that she would improve her performance from five years ago, but Irani capitalised on Gandhi’s absence and accused him of running away from a fight.
Congratulating Irani for her win, Gandhi hoped she would fulfil the aspirations of the people in Amethi. “I hope Smriti Irani takes care of the people of Amethi with love.” He further said, “I respect the decision and congratulate Smriti Irani ji,” he said.