BJP leader Smriti Irani on Tuesday said attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a way of political sustenance for Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi."For his own political sustenance, Rahul has to attack the Prime Minister. This is about his political future," Irani told CNN News18."Modi has been a target of the opposition not just now but from his days as the Gujarat Chief Minister. He is used to such attacks but that has never deterred him from any issue or work."But for Rahul, he has neither any issue nor any work," said Irani, who had lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls to Gandhi from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.Continuing her attack on Gandhi, the Union minister accused him of neglecting Amethi."Being an MP for so long, what has he done for Amethi. He has been holding rallies in UP but did he venture to Amethi," she asked."He did not (visit Amethi) because people there would ask why he has not returned the land bought by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, despite a court order to do so," said Irani.The minister was referring to a 2015 order by a court directing the trust to return 65 acres of land that it had bought in an auction from a private company which had acquired the land for setting up a bicycle factory but failed to start the project.
Irani has been questioning the sale of the land to the trust and accused the Gandhi family of "land-grabbing". The Gandhi family has dubbed the allegations as baseless.Irani also slammed the Congress for deliberately disrupting Parliament over the demonetisation issue."The Congress used the issue to further their own interests. Their only agenda was to ensure there was no debate and discussion on demonetisation. From the first day of the session, the government had been making efforts to run the house but they kept on resorting to disruptions in both the houses," she said."Debate cannot be one-sided. Be it the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, the Finance Minister or even the Prime Minister, the government made repeated pleas for the house to run but they did not relent," said Irani.Defending the Centre's move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Irani said the opposition should have supported the exercise for the sake of transparency."When there is this massive exercise against corruption and black money, isn't it our collective responsibility to leave aside our political interests and join this fight. When you are against the economy going digital and advocate for it to remain cash based, doesn't that tantamount to supporting the middlemen," asked Irani.