New Delhi, Feb. 24: Smriti Irani played to the Sangh gallery in Parliament today with her “nationalism” pitch, but lurking beneath the lines appeared to be the human resource development minister’s political ambition.
Her choice of targets for attack – Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati – held a clue.
As she defended the police action on Jawaharlal Nehru University, Smriti spared no chance at reinforcing the BJP’s Hindutva themes, concluding her address with lines from Atal Bihari Vajpayee that evoked the images of Ganga, Shiva and Bharat Mata.
Smriti, a former television actor, is a lateral entrant to the BJP and survived a baptism of fire. She hit out at Narendra Modi fairly early in her innings as a politician, threatening to fast indefinitely if he did not resign as Gujarat chief minister after the 2002 riots. She forsook the plan soon after and on L.K. Advani’s intervention, made up with Modi and then earned his trust.