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'Is he a PM candidate?' Smriti Irani questions Rahul Gandhi's acceptance of offer to debate PM Modi
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Photo courtesy: Facebook/Rahul Gandhi & Smriti Irani

'Is he a PM candidate?' Smriti Irani questions Rahul Gandhi's acceptance of offer to debate PM Modi

| @@indiablooms | 12 May 2024, 01:17 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Union Minister Smriti Irani took a dig at Rahul Gandhi following his acceptance of an invitation to debate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on crucial election issues asking if the Congress leader is a PM candidate of INDIA alliance.

Irani questioned Gandhi's ability to engage in a debate with someone of PM Modi's stature, given his reluctance to contest in the once Congress stronghold, Amethi.

The Amethi constituency had been synonymous with the Gandhi family's political legacy and was even represented by Rahul Gandhi from 2004 until his defeat in 2019 to Smriti Irani.

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 Gandhi's challenge for a debate, 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?"

This comes after Gandhi welcomed the proposal for a public debate, expressing eagerness for either himself or Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to participate. His acceptance to debate PM Modi 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.

Gandhi revealed that both he and Mallikarjun Kharge have agreed that such a debate would help people understand "our respective vision and enable them to make an informed choice".

"It is also critical to put to rest any unsubstantiated allegations attributed to our respective parties. As the principal parties fighting the election, the public deserve to hear from their leaders directly," Gandhi said in his letter replying to the invitation.

"Accordingly, either myself or the Congress president would be pleased to participate in such a debate."

The Congress supremo also expressed his eagerness to participate in a debate with PM but claimed that the latter would not agree to the same.


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