“Is He PM Candidate?”: Smriti Irani On Rahul Gandhi Debating PM Modi

New Delhi: 

Union Minister Smriti Irani questioned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after the latter accepted an invitation to debate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on crucial election issues. Ms Irani questioned Mr Gandhi’s ability to engage in a debate with someone of Prime Minister Modi’s stature, given his reluctance to contest in his historical stronghold, Amethi. 

The Amethi constituency had been synonymous with the Gandhi family’s political legacy, represented by Mr Gandhi since 2004 until his defeat in 2019. The Congress leader last week filed his nomination papers from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, a constituency held by his mother Sonia Gandhi for the last two decades. 

Responding to Mr Gandhi’s challenge for a debate, Ms Irani, the BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Amethi, said, “Firstly, the person who does not have the courage to contest against a normal BJP worker in his so-called castle, should refrain from boasting. Secondly, who wants to sit at level with PM Modi and have a debate, I want to ask him if is he a PM candidate of the INDI alliance?”

Mr Gandhi welcomed the proposal for a public debate, expressing eagerness for either himself or Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to participate. Mr Gandhi’s acceptance of the debate invitation came in response to Justice (Retd) Madan B Lokur, Justice (Retd) Ajit P Shah, and journalist N Ram, who had extended the invitation in a non-partisan effort to foster informed decision-making among citizens.

Mr Gandhi revealed that both him and Mr Kharge have agreed that such a debate would help people understand “our respective vision and enable them to make an informed choice”.

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