Though Irani didn't blame the Congress or any of its leaders for her aide's murder, she made it abundantly clear that she suspects the Congress's hand behind it
New Delhi: The new Amethi MP Smriti Irani has given a big hint connecting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the murder of her close aide Surendra Singh who was quite instrumental in affecting Irani's victory over Rahul Gandhi in the traditional Gandhi turf. After sending a strong message by lending her shoulder to the aarthi (corpse) of Singh during the crematorium, Irani made this startling connection.
Smriti's not-so-veiled attack on top Congress leader
"I urge the BJP cadres to exercise restraint. Surendra Singh was murdered so that Amethi is terrorised. The murder was done with an intention to break Amethi, bend Amethi", said Irani. And then came the bombshell, "On 23rd (May), I was publicly given a political message to take care of Amethi with love. I want to tell the person who gave that message that I have received the message loud and clear".
Though Smriti Irani didn't take a name it was an apparent reference to a Congress leader.
What does it mean?
Though Irani didn't blame the Congress or any of its leaders for her aide's murder, she made it abundantly clear that she suspects the Congress's hand behind it with her "have received the message loud and clear" comment. In one sentence Irani has insinuated that the "Take care of Amethi" suggestion of Gandhi was less of a suggestion to a person he got defeated by and more of a warning for the surprise in store.
Even Singh's son has gone on record to say, "My father was a close aide of Smriti Irani and used to campaign 24/7 for her. After she became MP, a 'Vijay Yatra' was carried out. I think some Congress supporters didn't like it; we have suspicions on some people."
Who was Surendra Singh?
Surendra Singh was not only a close confidante of Smriti Irani but also ex-pradhan or village head of Baraulia village where he was shot dead by unknown assailants. The incident is widely being dubbed as a political killing allegedly by Congress supporters after Rahul Gandhi's defeat.
Incidentally, Baraulia had voted en masse for Irani. Also, this was the village that was adopted by the former defence minister and ex-chief minister of Goa late Manohar Parrikar. Singh was gunned down while he was sleeping outside his house near a new temple that he had constructed very recently. He was taken to Rae Bareilly after being shot and then to Lucknow where he was declared dead on arrival.
Amethi that was dubbed as the battle royale of 2019 proved to be one where the sitting MP and Congress president were met with a humiliating defeat. Many thought, the clash was over with the results. But the murder of Singh and a not-so-veiled attack on Gandhi by Irani soon after proves, Amethi is still on fire.
Last Updated May 27, 2019, 2:30 PM IST