While addressing the Vijay Sankalp OBC Sammelan in Amethi, BJP Lok Sabha Candidate from Amethi and Union Minister Smriti Irani, on Friday said:
"The 2019 election is Amethi's election of freedom. Hope Amethi is set free from clutches of an absentee-candidate."
Earlier on the same day, she accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi that he is 'supporting the anti-national elements who want to break India'.
Speaking to ANI at Jagdishpur in Amethi, she said:
"Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi went with anti-Bharat forces to file his nomination. Every time he reveals his real motive that he is not with Hindustan but with those elements who want to break Hindustan."
Continuing about Gandhi's support to the 'tukde-gang' she said:
"The people in the national capital have already heard how he stood in support of 'Bharat-tere-tukde-hoge' (India will be ripped apart) slogan. Also, the recently released manifesto of Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi has tried to defame the Army and supported slogans like 'bharat-tere-tukde-hoge' ".
This is with reference to the Congress Manifesto released on Tuesday which has promised significant changes in the laws, like quashing of the Sedition law and amendment to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). The manifesto has also proposed to decriminalise laws that are essentially directed against civil violations and can be subjected to civil penalties which include the sedition law and defamation.
Smriti Irani, on Thursday, had spoken to Republic Media Network about her campaigning in Amethi as well as Rahul Gandhi deciding to contest from Wayanad in Kerala saying:
"I think he is in Wayanad because he did not receive support in Amethi. Nobody runs from victory, people run away from defeat... If India wants to see the capability of Rahul Gandhi they should come to Amethi and see the way he has left the place in distress."
Amethi polls are set on May 6, 2019 where BJP leader Smriti Irani will contest against Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
(With ANI inputs)