I don't run away from Amethi, Smriti Irani taunts Rahul Gandhi during her Wayanad visit

Smriti Irani
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani interacts with a child during her visit to Varadoor Anganwadi Center, in Wayanad on Tuesday. PTI

Wayanad: Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Z Irani on Tuesday taunted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during her visit to his parliemantary constituency, Wayanad in Kerala.

"I am not Rahul Gandhi, I don't run from Amethi," she said while speaking to reporters. She was responding to a query on whether she would consider contesting elections from Wayanad if her party asks her to.

The Union minister who defeated the Gandhi scion in his home turf Amethi in 2019 Lok Sabha polls said that there was "much that has not been done" in Wayanad and the local administration has assured her that it would be addressed.

After a review meeting with the local administration, Irani pointed out various shortcomings, like lack of water connections to around 1.35 lakh households, non-screening for health issues common among tribals, non-digitisation of their land records and ensuring skill development among the tribals, in the district which were brought to her attention.

She further said that ease of living of the tribals needs to be enhanced, infrastructure in the district needs to be strengthened and developed and services like health, education, nutrition and financial services, needs to be delivered to the people there, especially the poorest of the poor.

She also said that she brings with her the compliments from Amethi to Wayanad.

During her interaction with reporters, she said that she came to know today that there were around 57,000 farmers in the district who did not have the Kisan Credit Card, 1.35 lakh families/ households did not have water connections, maintaining of proper land records had been going on for last 50 years and yet it was not completed and the housing schemes for the poor were not being implemented.

She also said that there were several central government schemes, like the Prime Minister's Street Vendor's AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) and another meant for re-enrollment of out of school girls, which too were not being implemented as the district-level officials were unaware about them.

Irani said that she has received a commitment from the district administration that they will review their processes "so that their system deliveries can be bettered."

She also said that the administration assured her that they will try to ensure water connections to all households by 2023 under the Prime Minister's Jal Jeevan Mission.

(With inputs from PTI)

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