In a scathing response to the 'outsider jibe' by Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Union Minister and BJP candidate from Amethi (UP) Smriti Irani said that she might be referring to someone who came from Italy.
In an exclusive interview to Republic TV, Smriti Irani said: "If she is talking about some outsider, she might be talking about those who came from Italy because I am an Indian."
She added: "I have been an actor, ask her not to do acting."
Her reaction came hours after the Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra issued a fierce attack during the election campaigning in Amethi and called Union Minister Smriti Irani an outsider.
"Election is here and so many outsiders are also trying to spread lies that Rahul Gandhi does not visit. You know the truth. The objectionable thing was that Smriti Irani ji came here and she distributed shoes among the people. She thought that she is insulting Rahul Gandhi but she insulted Amethi people. They should beg for votes and not you. You must understand what is happening in this election.
Lies, trying to divert the attention of people, and a campaign which is different from reality. I am travelling around UP East and am witnessing the miseries of the people. Wherever I am going, people are facing difficulties, I am noticing. Small industries have been shut. Youth are roaming around on the streets because they have not been provided employment. The population of Amethi is sensible. They have stopped developmental projects in Amethi," Priyanka Vadra said speaking to the public.
Smriti also challenged Priyanka Vadra on her criticism regarding distributing shoes. She said:
"Late Manohar Parikkar ji wanted that shoes should be distributed. He had done a lot for these people while he was alive. When he was alive, even then Congress had criticised him and even now they are criticising his good work."
Amethi is all set to witness a fiery battle between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani. While Rahul Gandhi is looking for reelection in the 2019 poll, Smriti Irani is looking forward to dethroning three-time MP Congress president from his bastion in Amethi. The result of the elections will be declared on May 23.
In 2004 and 2009, the Congress president came out victorious with a huge margin from Amethi, finishing with more than double the votes of the runners-up. Though, in 2014, he received stiff competition from BJP's Smriti Irani, now Textiles Minister. Rahul Gandhi won just over 4 lakh votes, and got 46.71 % vote share in 2014.