Taking a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Union minister Smriti Irani has said that Ghulam Nabi Azad has become 'azad' (free) now but Amethi has been "liberated" long ago.
Veteran Congress leader Azad, who ended his five-decade association with the grand old party on Friday, accused Rahul Gandhi of demolishing the entire consultative mechanism and also pinned the blame on him for the 2014 electoral debacle.
To a question on Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra and Azad leaving the Congress, Irani told reporters here on Saturday evening, "Congress's own leadership is commenting especially on the Gandhi family, so we do not need to add anything to it. Ghulam Nabi Azad sahib became 'Azad' (free) now but Amethi has been liberated long back." In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP leader Irani had defeated Rahul Gandhi in the Amethi parliamentary seat.
Amethi was the traditional seat of the Gandhi family and was represented by Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the past. Irani said the difference between the earlier Amethi and today's Amethi is that earlier people used to consider power here as their fiefdom, whereas now there is a sense of service.The Congress, dealing with the fallout of a series of high-profile exits, including that of Kapil Sibal and Ashwani Kumar, has attempted to deflect the latest blow by alleging that Azad's DNA had been "Modi-fied" and linking his resignation to the end of his Rajya Sabha tenure.