Former Congress secretary Girish Chodankar on Wednesday claimed that a company owned by Union minister Smriti Irani's husband shares the address with the bar which his party has alleged was operated illegally by her daughter.
The controversial Silly Souls bar and restaurant operates from the same address -- House No. 452, Bouta Vaddo, Assagao -- from which a company controlled by Irani's husband and family, Eightall Food and Beverage, conducts its primary business, Chodankar said.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa rubbished Chodankar's claim, adding he wasn't competent enough to speak on the issue.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) number allotted to the Irani family company at the Assagao address is also the GST number of the Silly Souls Cafe and Bar, Chodankar said.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should make a statement on the Silly Souls bar issue, the former Goa Congress president told reporters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi should drop Irani from the cabinet over the issue, he added.
The minister has denied having any links with the controversial bar based in North Goa's Assagao village.
Chodankar referred to a TV interview that Zoish Irani, the 18-year-old daughter of Smriti Irani gave to well-known food critic Kunal Vijayakar.
"In the interview, Zoish nods in assent when Vijayakar asks her if the Silly Souls restaurant is hers. 'Let me introduce you to a very, very young entrepreneur,' Vijayakar says. 'This is Zoish Irani. Correct? This is your restaurant?' And Zoish Irani says, 'Yeah' and nods," Chodankar said.
He said the Instagram account of Zubin Irani, the minister's husband, includes 'co-founder @sillysoulscafe Goa' as part of his biographical details.
Reacting to Chodankar's claims, Goa BJP spokesman Urfan Mulla questioned the Congress leader's authority to pass remarks against Smriti Irani.
"Chodankar was sacked as Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president and is currently a nobody in his party," Mulla said.