In an interview on Times Now, Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani weighed in on a range of issues, from India’s readiness in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic to issue of Congress leaving no stone unturned in shielding economic offenders like Nirav Modi. However, Smriti was particularly scathing in her attack against the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi whom she referred to as an “embarrassment”. Responding about a tweet that was posted by Rahul Gandhi wherein he drew a similarity between fugitive Nirav Modi and PM Modi, Ms Irani said that tweet comparing Nirav Modi with PM Modi and calling them both “looters”, Smriti Irani said, “Rahul Gandhi’s two characterisations that I have seen personally-one hypocrisy and second shamelessness and I am absolutely not shocked of his perverse behaviour because this is the conduct he has been part of for a very very long time.” Taken aback by the high-intensity attack against Rahul Gandhi, journalist Navika Kumar of Times Now asked Smriti Irani if this is her way of embarrassing Rahul Gandhi just because he has accused the BJP of facilitating the escape of the economic offenders. When asked further if she dislikes Rahul Gandhi for brutally laying into him, Smriti Irani responded that she couldn’t care less about him. She also added that when a man is touching 50 and has never had any productive job in his life, he cannot elicit respect from her as an individual. “If you stand in the capital of India and say you support “Bharat ke tukde honge”, I don’t have an iota of respect for such individuals,” Union Minister Smriti Irani said. MS Irani also accused the Congress party of supporting economic offenders such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, alluding to Congress member former HC judge Abhay Thipsay who appeared as a defence witness in the UK courts to defend economic offender Nirav Modi. Responding to the charges of communalisation of pandemic levelled against the government, Ms Irani said, “When the media reports organisations and entities that have not only supported the government but have imperilled the society at large and endangered society’s safety at risk and they happen to have a name called Tablighi Jamaat, do you expect government officers, who have taken constitutional oath should lie to the country by shielding their name?” Talking about the government’s stand on the Pulitzer prize that was recently given to three Kashmiri journalists, Smriti Irani decried the awards saying that the citation on the photographs that described Kashmir as “Indian controlled Kashmir” was enough for the BJP government at the centre to denounce the recognition.
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