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BJP's Amethi candidate Smriti Irani just a scapegoat or a serious contender?
BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irani has filed her nomination papers from Amethi Lok Sabha contituency. Her strongest opponent is no other than the Congress scion and the party's undeclared PM-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi. Irani will also be facing challenge from AAP's candidate Kumar Vishwas.
Soon after the announcement of her name as BJP's candidate from Amethi, social media like Twitter was abuzz with the reactions that Irani has been made a scapegoat. She had a chance to show her capability to win, had she been fielded from any other Lok Sabha seat, preferably from Guajart. However, Amethi has been forte of the Congress and majority of voters' sentiment are pro-Rahul Gandhi.
Bharatiya Janata Party's senior leader and Lok Sabha candidate from Delhi's Chandani Chowk constituency Dr. Harshvardhan while speaking on Irani's candidature from Amethi said that it was party's call.

“This is party's call to announce anybody's name at any moment, and party doesn't bother about what media has to say. Party decides what is best for the party and for the candidate,” said Harshvardhan.

Whereas another senior BJP leader VK Malhotra, who is also Chairman of Delhi BJP Lok Sabha Election Campaign Committee says that the BJP has nominated her because she could give a good fight to any opponent, as she is a popular figure in every Indian household.

“Every women in the country knows about her, because of the serial 'Saans bhi kabhi bahu thi' and she is a household talk. The party was thinking that some strong candidate should stand against Rahul Gandhi from BJP and we felt that she is strong enough to fight from there,” said Malhotra.

Whatever, BJP leaders say, there are political analysts who feel the same as of the commoners that Smriti Irani has been made a scapegoat by BJP. Prof. Purushottam Aggarwal, a visiting senior fellow at CSDS says that BJP needed just the media attraction and hence they selected her.

“BJP has to put up a kind of glamorous candidate and Smriti Irani by no stretch of imagination is a serious candidate. For me she is equally non-serious as Kumar Vishwas from AAP. But being a TV star she would definitely attract some media attention,” said Prof. Aggarwal.

He also added, "BJP could not have afforded some serious political leaders like Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley or Kalyan Singh, so they needed some body who will attract the attention of the people and they knew that in any case they are not going to win Amethi."

However, Delhi University's political science professor Pradip K Dutta, doesn't agree with scapegoat concept. He has to say that, "She is not a scapegoat, because she is also going to benefit from the publicity and I am sure she will be compensated in the party even if she losses. And contesting against Rahul Gandhi is a big complement to her, a big honor."

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