Smriti Irani sends notice to Congress leaders

Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani addresses a press conference New Delhi on July 20, 2022.  Photo: Twitter/@BJP4India via PTI

Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani addresses a press conference New Delhi on July 20, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@BJP4India via PTI

The Indian National Congress, and Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D’Souza were on Sunday recipients of a legal notice issued by Union Minister Smriti Irani, demanding an apology for the “baseless and false allegations” directed at the Minister and her daughter, Zoish Irani.

Ms. Irani had announced that she would be sending out the notice in a statement issued on Saturday, the day Congress came out with allegations about the Minister’s 18-year-old daughter running a restaurant in Goa for which a bar licence was acquired illegally. In the absence of “an unconditional and unequivocal apology” and withdrawal of allegations, the notice warned the recipients of civil and criminal proceedings.

Zoish Irani has never applied for any licence for “running” any bar or for any business enterprise, it said, asserting that she has not been served with any show-cause notice from the Excise Department in Goa as alleged by the Congress leaders, it said. These allegations have been made with the knowledge of their falsity or at least in careless disregard of the truth, it added.

“The false allegations were intended to hurt the reputation of our client as a Minister and a person in public life, and also to outrage her modesty and that of her daughter,” the notice said, reading further that “the Congress leaders stooped to a new low, morally and ethically, by attacking Irani’s young daughter who is in her first year at university and at the threshold of a new chapter of her life, pursuing her professional aspirations. These aspirations of our client’s (Irani) daughter are sought to be cruelly marred, jeopardised and prejudiced by the addressees (Congress leaders) through their inhumane, insensitive and false narratives as collateral damage.” 

“The insistence of addressees to invoke value systems of our client with a reference to her sanskar is an effort to make our client and her young daughter social outcasts by proclaiming that by the act of ‘running’ a bar our client and her young daughter are women of disrepute,” the notice stated.

The Congress had on Saturday demanded Ms. Irani’s sacking, alleging her daughter was running an illegal bar in Goa, but the Minister had claimed the “malicious” charge was made at the Gandhi family’s behest due to her vocal stand in the National Herald case and vowed to fight back. Youth Congress workers on Sunday protested outside the Goa restaurant, which the Congress claimed is owned by Ms. Irani’s daughter. 

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2022 12:22:54 am |