Mega ‘grih pravesh’ for new Amethi mansion planned by Smriti Irani with 25,000 guests on February 22

Smriti Irani, a Union Minister and BJP MP, is working nonstop to solidify her position ahead of the 2018 Lok Sabha elections by relocating to Amethi, the former Gandhi stronghold that she now represents. The “grih pravesh” (housewarming) ceremony for Smriti Irani’s new Amethi home is scheduled for February 22.

According to those close to Smriti Irani, she has sent invitations to some 25,000 people, across political boundaries and including local MLAs and MLCs.

The Union Minister resides in Medan Mawai hamlet, a mere 2 kilometers away from the Sultanpur Road BJP headquarters, in a spacious single-story home spanning around 15,000 square feet.

In the 2019 general elections, Irani defeated erstwhile Congress head Rahul Gandhi, snatching Amethi from the Congress cat. Sonia Gandhi, the former head of the AICC, recently said goodbye to her Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat.

On Monday, February 19, Irani is anticipated to arrive in Amethi to take part in the BJP’s Gram Chaupal rural outreach drive.

Interestingly, her archenemy and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi will also do his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra to the Gauriganj district of Amethi on the same day, traveling via Bhadohi, Prayagraj, and Pratapgarh.

“The assurance given to the Amethi people in 2014 has been fulfilled by Iran. According to Govind Chauhan, the Amethi spokesman for the BJP, “she had promised then that she would make a house in Amethi and settle here as a local resident.”

She did, however, continue to cultivate the constituency after Rahul Gandhi defeated her in Amethi in 2014, and in 2019 she won by a margin of more than 50,000 votes.

Irani used to work out of a leased home that is now utilized as the camp office, where Irani handles local coordination.

Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi, however, dismissed Irani’s attempt to have a residence built for herself in Amethi as a “gimmick” and said that she had fallen short of her pledges to the Amethi people.

Awasthi said that Rahul Gandhi and the Congress were solely responsible for any developments that occurred in Amethi.

Smirti Irani’s grih-pravesh puja is seen by political analysts as an effort to consolidate her position in Amethi in the face of mounting anxiety about Congress’s intentions to run a Gandhi family candidate—likely Rahul Gandhi—from its former pocket borough in the next Lok Sabha elections.

According to BJP insiders, Smriti has also been planning extensive outreach programs to connect with residents in the Amethi district’s assembly seats, including Salon, which is otherwise part of the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency.

Since Sonia submitted her candidacy for the Rajasthan Rajya Sabha, there has been growing speculation that the Congress would run Priyanka Gandhi from Rae Bareli.

2019 saw Irani beat Rahul in four of the Lok Sabha constituency’s five assembly constituencies (Salon, Jagdishpur, Tiloi, and Gauriganj), but she was narrowly defeated in Amethi by 230 votes. Remarkably, the Samajwadi Party declined to stand a candidate in Rae Bareli and Amethi.

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