Irani called Gandhi “proudy” and a “missing MP” after he failed to show up in the constituency on voting day. Her continuing election campaign rhetoric past the victory will be useful to the BJP, some say. “In parliament, the BJP will use her to torment Gandhi and the opposition benches with her pugilistic broadsides.”: DhumeKyunki union minister bhi kabhi Modi critic thi.
And Irani’s victory was the jewel in the crown. Headlines called her a “giant killer” for ousting Gandhi from Amethi, which he has held since his 2004 electoral debut. The constituency, created in 1967, has been held by a Congress leader for 48 of those 52 years.
“By defeating Congress party president Rahul Gandhi in his family bailiwick, she has called into question the viability of India’s oldest party as a counter to the BJP,” Sadanand Dhume, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Quartz.
The political see-saw
A former soap opera star, Irani has had a rocky rise in the BJP ranks. In fact, her political career almost ended before it began—with her heavily critical remarks against Modi in 2004, her first year with the BJP.