IIT row: Smriti, Rahul Gandhi engage in Twitter war
New Delhi: The battlelines were drawn already during the Lok Sabha elections, but Union Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani has taken her fight against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi a level further on Friday.
Both the leaders are now locked in a fierce Twitter war over the IIT Madras’ decision to ban a students’ body which was critical of the Narendra Modi-led Central government.
The HRD ministry had reportedly forwarded a complaint made by some students about the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) to the institute, accusing the group of creating “hatred” against Modi and instigating protests against Centre’s policies.
Reacting to this, Rahul wrote on his official Twitter handle, “IIT student group banned for criticizing Modi Government. What next?” Separately, the Congress student wing, the NSUI held protests outside Irani’s residence in New Delhi against the IIT Madras decision.
Soon after, the Minister took to Twitter throwing an open challenge to the Congress leader. “Give me a time n place n I m ready to debate everything re governance including education (sic),”
During the Lok Sabha elections, both the leaders were involved in a vitriolic campaign in Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh. Though Rahul won the seat, the result also marked the beginning of a new political rivalry.
The last session of the Parliament also saw both the leaders trading charges over the Amethi food park which was canceled by the Centre. The food park was Rahul’s pet project for his constituency.
He accused the Modi government of canceling the project deliberately since it was to come up in Rahul’s constituency. But Smriti Irani took the battle to Amethi. She said the project was cleared in 2010 when the UPA was in power but Rahul Gandhi did not take steps to make the project a reality.