The Congress on Saturday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should sack Union Minister Smriti Irani, alleging that an “illegal bar” was being run in Goa by her daughter, a charge rejected by her.
In a statement, the lawyer of Irani’s daughter, Kirat Nagra, said his client is neither an owner nor operating the restaurant called Silly Souls Goa and has not received any show cause notice from any Authority whatsoever as alleged.
Nagra said various “erroneous, frivolous , malicious and defamatory social media posts being made by various vested quarters trying to settle political scores with our client’s mother, the renowned politician Smriti Irani each of which are predicated on blatant falsities”.
Terming the charges “baseless”, the lawyer said, “It is unfortunate that they have resorted to spreading a false propaganda only to sensationalize a non issue without ascertaining true facts and with a predetermined objective of defaming Our Client for solely being the daughter of a political leader.”
Noting that it is a “very serious issue”, the Congress also shared a copy of the show cause notice given to the bar, and said the excise official who gave the notice is reportedly being transferred after pressure from authorities.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told reporters that there are serious charges of corruption against Irani’s family and her daughter is allegedly running a restaurant in Goa, in which a bar is functioning on a “fake licence”.
“The licence by Smriti Irani’s daughter is in the name of a person who died in May 2021, and the licence was taken in June 2022 in Goa. But the person in whose name the licence is, had died 13 months ago. This is illegal,” he told reporters.
He said according to Goa rules, a restaurant can get only one bar licence but this restaurant has got two bar licences.
“We demand from the prime minister that Smriti Irani should be immediately sacked as a minister from the Union cabinet. You owe it to this country, to the youth of this country,” he said.
To a question on Irani attacking Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader said “There cannot be any comparison between something as noble as running a newspaper and something like running an illegal bar in Goa”.
“Is this being done without her knowledge and was the licence given without her influence,” he asked.
He also alleged that bouncers of private security have been deployed around the restaurant in Goa, to keep the media out of bounds.
“We want to know from you under whose influence is this being done. Who is behind this illegal work,” he asked.