NEW DELHI: Union minister Smriti Irani on Sunday sent a legal notice to Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Pawan Khera, asking them to apologize for their ''baseless and false'' allegations against the BJP leader and her daughter.
Irani's action came a day after the Congress leaders alleged that her 18-year-old daughter Zoish Irani ran a bar illegally in Goa and also targeted the minister over this, demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack her from his Cabinet.
If they do not tender an unconditional and unequivocal apology and withdraw their allegations, Irani will initiate civil and criminal proceedings against them, the legal notice said.
The notice has also been sent to 'Mahila' Congress leader Netta D'Souza and the Congress party.
''The false allegations were intended to hurt the reputation of our client as a minister and a person in public life, and also to outrage her modesty and that of her daughter,'' the notice said.
The Congress leaders stooped to a new low, morally and ethically, by attacking Irani's young daughter who is in her first year at university and at the threshold of a new chapter of her life pursuing her professional aspirations, the notice sent by Irani said.
''These aspirations of our client's (Irani) daughter are sought to be cruelly marred, jeopardized and prejudiced by the addressees (Congress leaders) through their inhumane, insensitive and false narratives as collateral damage,'' it said.
''The insistence of addressees to invoke value systems of our client with a reference to her 'sanskar' is an effort to make our client and her young daughter social outcasts by proclaiming that by the act of 'running' a bar our client and her young daughter are women of disrepute,'' it said.
Zoish Irani has never applied for any license for ''running'' any bar or for any business enterprise, it said, asserting that she has not been served with any show cause notice from the excise department in Goa as alleged by the Congress leaders.
''These allegations are sought to be sensationalized and magnified by a series of innuendos and suggestive statements which not only hurt our client and her daughter's reputation but are equally an attempt at outraging their modesty,'' it claimed.
These allegations have been made with the knowledge of their falsity or at least in careless disregard of the truth, it said.
The Congress on Saturday demanded Irani's sacking, alleging her daughter was running an illegal bar in Goa, but the minister had claimed the ''malicious'' charge was made at the Gandhi family's behest due to her vocal stand in the National Herald case and vowed to fight back.
Youth Congress workers on Sunday protested outside the Goa restaurant which the Congress claims is owned by her daughter.