The Congress on Saturday demanded resignation of Union minister Smriti Irani, accusing her daughter of running a restaurant-bar in Goa “illegally”, with the licence procured “fraudulently” in the name of a deceased person. Terming it as a “malicious” accusation, Irani spoke back, stating that her daughter was targeted only because “her mother does press conferences against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi”.
Infuriated by the incident she stated: “And to the Gandhi family, which directed that this press conference [by Congress] be held against my child, I tell you this, send Rahul Gandhi back to fight the Lok Sabha election in 2024 from Amethi and he will lose again. That is my promise as a BJP worker and as a mother to that 18-year-old. I will see them in the court of law.”
These allegations were made when Congress leaders showed a show-cause notice issued to the bar and claimed that the Excise Department official who provided the notice is allegedly being transferred under pressure.
While speaking in a press conference to the media in Delhi, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said: “In Goa, a restaurant run by her daughter, it has a bar…it is accused of procuring a licence fraudulently. The licence is in the name of a person who died in May 2021 and…was procured in June (2022). In the name of that person, Smriti Irani’s daughter took the licence.”
On the basis of the complaint made, the Goa Excise Commissioner Narayan M Gad had issued a show-cause notice to Silly Souls Café and Bar on July 21.
Congress chief Amit Patkar in Panaji showcased to the media a video clip of a purported show in which Irani’s daughter was interviewed as a “young entrepreneur”, and Silly Souls was introduced as “her restaurant.”
In response to the accusations made in Delhi, Irani said, “An 18-year-old child, a college student, her character today was assassinated by Congressmen…. They claim that the mutilations stemmed from a show cause notice. I want to ask that Congressperson where is the name of my daughter in the papers that he flashed?”
She further added: “It is done at the directions, as was obviously stated by Pawan Khera, of the Congress leadership, namely the Gandhi family, because I had the audacity to hold a press conference to question Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the (Rs) 5,000 crore loot of the Indian treasury [in the national herald case’….So the gentlemen who sat there, giggled as they assassinated my daughter’s character, I will see you in the court of law and in the court of the people….”