High-profile union minister Smriti Irani said that she will leave politics the day Prime Minister Narenda Modi retired. Speaking at Words Count Festival 2019 in Pune, last evening, she also said that she has no political ambition of becoming `Pradhan Sevan’ (Prime Miniser). \
A prolific actress and a model, Irani rose to national fame with her hit TV series ‘Kyun Ki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ in the early 2000s. She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2004. Under PM Narendra Modi, she has been at the helm of Human Resource Development, Information & Broadcasting and Textile ministries, in that order.
Her recent stints as union minister have been dotted with several controversies. She was HRD minister when Rohith Vemula, a student of Hyderabad University committed suicide. After allegations of political pressure for Vemula’s suspension from the University prior to his suicide, Smriti Irani had set up an inquiry commission.
She also refused to elaborate on whether she would contest elections or not. “For the last hour, everyone wants to know whether I will be contesting from Amethi. But since the event is titled Words Count, in this case, Amit Shah’s word counts,” she added.
Elaborating on why she entered politics, Irani said, “I was very very lucky to work under a charismatic leader like Atal Behari Vajpayee and am currently serving under Narendra Modi. That was my ardent desire and when the Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi decides to hang his boots, that is the day I will leave Indian politics,” she said.
She added, “Narendra Modi made me an MP from Gujarat and during the MP elections for Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, he had proposed my name for candidature. When I seized the opportunity to serve as the HRD minister, nobody thought I was up to it except my leadership and when I was given textiles, I soon realised that implementation of several schemes was down by 10 to 20 per cent”she added.
The Union Minister said that she would soon ensure that all schemes were implemented cent per cent and have a research centre at Ahmedabad where we assist ISRO in making satellites.
On how the BJP focused on development work, Irani said, “We are not the Congress party. We present our leaders to the nation which then tells us who it will bless. As for announcing who after Modi – that is out of the question as he is going to be there for a very very long time.” Referring to Priyanka Gandhi as Mrs Vadra, Irani said ours was an independent country and all were free to choose for themselves.