New Delhi: Taking a dig at opposition, Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said that she is not as communal as she is made out to be.
Smriti Irani’s statement comes as many leaders of opposition parties had raised questions on her when she took charge of the minority affairs ministry after the resignation of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
On Wednesday, a book release ceremony was organised at Delhi’s Constitution Club in which Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s chief spokesperson Sunil Ambekar and Smriti Irani were to attend as guests. Sangh leader Sunil Ambekar reached on time and waited for the Union minister for a long time, but due to delay, the organisers started the programme without Smriti Irani and also got Ambekar to release the book.
When Union Minister Smriti Irani reached the programme, Sunil Ambekar was giving his speech after releasing the book. After the RSS leader, Smriti Irani stood up to give a speech. While explaining the reason for coming late in the programme, she said, “I was late in coming and if I tell the reason for the delay, many people will laugh. Maybe they will also come to a conclusion that I am not as communal as I am made out to be.”
“Before this programme, 1.75 lakh people of our country have returned after completing the Haj pilgrimage. I am the first minister, not a woman, not a non-minority, but the first minister to send a team of 400 doctors from the Health Ministry for that. Earlier there was a strange restriction on the women of Muslim society that if they have to go for Haj, then they cannot do Haj unless a man is accompanying them. Narendra ‘Bhai’ reversed that decision and said that there is no such system or order in Islam, let it go. For the first time, 4,314 women went alone and returned to India.”
Taking a dig at the opposition parties, Irani further said, “When I was appointed, it was said that a staunch Hindu had been given the minority ministry. Even then I had asked only one question — what is the problem — am I a woman or a Hindu?”
Speaking further at the programme, Irani said, “Persecution is a part of a process and whoever is currently living under the misconception that if you are in power and are right wing, and you will not be persecuted, then this book is an indication. Even after gaining power, you will be harassed, and attempts will be made to demolish you.”