Is Smriti Irani buying votes using cows in Amethi, ask Twitter users

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Smriti Irani will distribute 10,000 cows in Amethi, where she had lost to Congress President Rahul Gandhi in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. According to media reports, the cows have been bought by one Narmada Fertilisers under its corporate social responsibility scheme.

10,000 cows

Irani will reportedly gift these cows to 10,000 poor families during her visit to Amethi. Local BJP workers and the representatives of the Gujarat-based fertiliser company are reported to have begun the process of shortlisting the families spread over five assembly constituencies of Amethi. 2,000 cows will be distributed in each assembly constituency, added the media reports.

However, questions are being raised over the ethics behind such move with many asking if Irani was indulging in vote-buying using cows. Social media users are incensed also because the fertiliser company in question is a Gujarat-based entity. whose majority stakes are owned by the BJP government.

Ravi Nair, a well-known data analyst and frequent contributor to Janta Ka Reporter, wrote that the 42% of Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited is owned by the the state’s BJP government.

Nair wrote, “Smriti Irani will distribute one cow each to over 10,000 families in Amethi next month. The cows are being purchased by Narmada Fertilisers under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) scheme. 42% shares of GFNC is held by Gujarat Govt!

“Why is a Gujarat based co, promoted by Gujarat Govt spend its CSR fund in Amethi? That too to distribute cows? Why is it advertised as a Smriti Irani event? CSR funds shd not be used to promote the political mileage of ruling party leaders.(sic)”

Former Gujarat IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, wrote, “The distribution of 10,000 cows by Smriti Aunty in her constituency of Amethi, is being financed by GNFC- a Gujarat Govt. majority holding company. She obviously believes that cows will invoke her imagery in the minds of Amethi voters next time.”

Noted columnist Ashok Swain said that after ‘sarees and sweets’ Irani was now using cows to bjuy votes ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls. he wrote, “After Sarees & Sweets, Smriti is vote-buying in Amethi with Cows! Instead of using state money for Smriti in Amethi, Modi should look for him a safe constituency in 2019.”

Another columnist, Salil Tripathi, asked, “CSR experts – can someone help me understand how distributing 10,000 cows in Amethi (which is in UP) purchased by Narmada Fertilisers (I take it a Gujarat-based company) is it an act of CSR? And why is Ms Irani doing the honours?”

Reports of Irani distributing 10,000 cows with the help of a Gujarat-based company evoked reactions from other social media users too with many suspecting a potential scam here.

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