Smriti Irani: ‘Women, irrespective of religion, denied dignity on social media’

‘Bearing Amethi compliments’, Smriti Irani tells Wayanad: Much here that has not been done

India News


AS VIDEOS surfaced on social media Tuesday of Rahul Gandhi in Kathmandu, Union minister Smriti Irani spent the day at the Congress leader’s constituency of Wayanad, and said there was “much that has not been done” in the district, and that the local administration has assured her that this would be addressed.

She also tweeted a video titled ‘For our friends in Wayanad… With Love from Amethi’, which listed how Rahul had “failed” Amethi. In the last parliamentary elections, in 2019, Irani had defeated Rahul in Amethi, the Gandhi family’s pocketborough.

 

While the Wayanad trip was officially part of a review of Central schemes in the district by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Amethi and the 2019 result was never far from the conversation.

Asked by reporters at one point whether she would consider contesting elections from Wayanad if her party asked her to, Irani said: “I am not Rahul Gandhi, I don’t run from Amethi.” She also said she came bearing Amethi’s compliments for Wayanad.

Wayanad is one of the Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog where development is lagging.

Irani said there was poor implementation of Central government schemes in the district. She talked specifically about the PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi). Regarding the ‘Kanya Shiksha Pravesh Utsav’, a programme to bring adolescent girls who had dropped out back to schools, she said: “The district educational officer in Wayanad has no idea about it.”

Comparing Wayanad to Fatehpur district in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh that she recently visited, Irani said it had improved its ranking from 111 in Aspirational Districts to eight. Wayanad had not enhanced its ranking, she said, adding: “Given that challenges are plenty, I cannot express jubilance.”

 

Listing the challenges before the district, she talked of health, nutrition, education, infrastructure and opportunities in fields like agriculture, skill development and financial inclusion. “It was found that citizens were not satisfactorily receiving state support and subsidy.”

Referring to a review meeting she held with district officials, the minister said: “I was told there are 57,000 families which do not have kisan credit cards, there are 1.35 lakh households without drinking water connection, and digitisation of land records has been pending for 50 years. When sickle cell anaemia remains a major concern, proper screening does not happen… I have told the District Collector to sit with the district medical officer, ICDS programme officer and social justice officer… The skill development officer should get in touch with the lead bank to implement programmes.”

Irani had other suggestions for officials, on coordination, review, infrastructure development, and welfare schemes. She also visited tribal settlements.





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