New Delhi: Top three Ministers in Narendra Modi Cabinet hit back at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his dig that the Prime Minister did not consult his ministers while taking crucial decisions including on Pakistan and want to run the country on only his opinion.
The first Minister to retort Rahul was Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who took to Facebook and termed Congress vice president's views ‘lacked maturity'.
“As one evolves from a young to a middle-aged one, we certainly expect a certain level of maturity. The more I hear Shri Rahul Gandhi, the more I start wondering ‘how much does he know' – when will he know,” his post reads.
Jaitley further said that the Prime Minister should be the natural leader of the party and the government.
“The Prime Minister should be the natural leader of the party and the government. In the NDA it is so. The UPA was quite different. The Prime Minister is to lead by example. The present Prime Minister not only works hard and involves himself in the functioning of the various departments of the government, but inspires his team to work harder than we would have normally. Each one of us, whether the External Affairs Minister, Home Minister or myself, are responsible for each important decision taken by each of one departments. We do not by-pass the Prime Minister who is always available for consultation and guidance,” his post reads.
“After hearing Shri Rahul Gandhi, I think India has made the right choice between the Prime Minister who leads the Government and a Prime Minister who is merely implementing decisions taken elsewhere.”
The Finance Minister said that Rahul's views are shaped by the environment of a political party which has evolved into a ‘crowd around a family'. “The UPA model of governance was that if a person outside the family is the Prime Minister, he should be reduced to being a figure-head. Given a choice between a ‘hands-on' Prime Minister or a ‘nominal' head, I would unhesitatingly choose the former.”
Rahul, in his speech in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to the President's address, took digs at Modi. Putting wit and sarcasm to good use, Rahul attacked Modi on a host of issues ranging from his policies on Pakistan and black money to the Jawaharlal Nehru University row and the Nagaland peace accord. He claimed that the Prime Minister hardly consults his senior ministers.
Replying to Rahul's claim that she was aware of Mosi's sudden visit to Lahore, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said ‘she was not present in the House, if she had been she would have corrected him'.
“I would like to correct the record. After a conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Modi called me, seeking my opinion on his visit to Lahore. I told him that it would be an 'out of the box initiative' and he should go to Lahore. This was a novel initiative, which got appreciated in the country,” the Minister said.
The third Minister in the line was Home Minister Rajnath who chided Rahul for his remark that ‘Home Minister knew nothing about the Naga Accord that the Modi spearheaded'.
Accusing the Congress scion of misleading the Parliament, he said, "I had several rounds of consultations with the PM Narendra Modi on Naga peace process. I strongly condemn Rahul Gandhi's attempt to mislead the House."
“His statement false and baseless,” the Home Minister tweeted.