Goa Bar Row: The Congress on Saturday accused Union Minister Smriti Irani’s daughter of running an ‘illegal bar’ in Goa. Congress said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should sack Irani from his cabinet.
Smriti Irani hit back, terming the Congress charge as malicious. He claimed that his daughter has been targeted because of her vocal stand on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s “loot of Rs 5,000 crore” in the National Herald case.
Congress’s head of media and publicity Pawan Khera told the media, “The family of Union Minister Smriti Irani has faced serious allegations of corruption. Allegations of issuing fake licenses to serve liquor at a restaurant run by her daughter in Goa. This is not an allegation made by ‘quoting sources’ and seeking political vendetta on behalf of agencies, but disclosed in information received under Right to Information (RTI).’
“Union Minister Smriti Irani’s daughter has got her ‘Silly Souls Cafe and Bar’ issued ‘bar licenses’ by giving fake documents,” he claimed.
What is the charge?
According to the Congress leader, “Anthony De Gama, in whose name he applied for renewal of license on June 22, 2022, has died in May last year itself. Anthony’s Aadhaar card shows that he is from Mumbai. K was a resident of Vile Parle. His death certificate has also been received by the lawyer seeking information under RTI.
“We demand from the prime minister that Smriti Zubin Irani should be sacked from the cabinet with immediate effect,” he said.
Kheda also asked this question, “Smriti Irani should tell on whose behest this rigging is taking place? Who is behind the illegal acts? Which Smriti Irani has been doing various kinds of things about Rahul Gandhi ji and Sonia Gandhi ji till yesterday. Was asking the question, why is she silent on her family corruption today?”
Smriti Irani rubbished Congress’s allegations, saying, “My daughter’s fault is that her mother holds press conferences on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s loot of Rs 5,000 crore. Her mistake is that her mother did it in 2014 and 2019. Contested against Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha elections.”
In the press conference, Irani said that the Congress had attacked her daughter Joish’s character and targeted her. He challenged the opposition Congress to show proof of any wrongdoing on the part of his daughter.
Smriti Irani asked this question
Women and Child Development Minister Irani asked whether her daughter’s name was in the purported notices shown at the press conference by Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Pawan Khera.
Irani said her 18-year-old daughter is a first year college student and does not run a bar. He alleged that the Congress held a press conference at the behest of the Gandhi family to target his daughter.
These allegations have also been denied by Smriti Irani’s daughter.
Kirat Nagra, the lawyer for the Union minister’s daughter, said in a statement that her client neither owns nor manages the restaurant named ‘Silly Souls’. Also, he has not received any ‘show cause notice’ from any authority.
Terming the allegations as baseless, Nagra said, “It is unfortunate that they are spreading false propaganda only to sensationalise pointless matter without verifying the facts and they are trying to defame my client only because But she is determined that she is the daughter of a leader.
Congress released a paper claiming that a ‘show cause notice’ was issued to Smriti Irani’s daughter by the Excise Department and the officer who gave the notice was allegedly being transferred.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, in response to a question, also said, “We will raise this issue in Parliament.”
He said, “The Prime Minister should immediately remove Smriti Irani. It is not just an allegation. All the papers are in front of it. All this has happened because an influential minister is behind it. In 2004, Smriti Irani had sought the resignation of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat. The Prime Minister should take his resignation today.”
Responding to a question about Irani’s attack on Rahul Gandhi, Khera said, “A good deed like running a newspaper cannot be compared to running an illegal bar in Goa.” “Was all this happening without his (Irani’s) knowledge and would the license have been obtained without his influence?” he asked.
He alleged that private security personnel have been deployed around the restaurant to prevent media access to the restaurant. He asked, “We want to know from you that under whose influence all this is being done? Who is behind this illegal act?”
Kheda later shared the news and tweeted, “Who is Smriti Irani lying? The one who said on April 14, 2022 that she was proud of her daughter’s restaurant or the one who said today that her daughter’s Nothing to do with Silly Souls Bar & Cafe?”