SLAMMING Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s speech targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, senior ministers and leaders of the BJP today said that he was misleading the House and that he was a “lying machine”.
While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raised questions about his knowledge and maturity, Home Minister Rajnath Singh denied the Congress leader’s claim that he was not kept in the loop before signing a peace pact with Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM. The party said that his speech in the Lok Sabha was “full of drama but lacked in content” and he was a “non-serious, part-time politician”.
“Rahul Gandhi’s statement on Naga peace accord in Lok Sabha today is completely false and baseless. I had several rounds of consultations with the PM on the Naga peace process. I strongly condemn Rahul Gandhi’s attempt to mislead the House,” the Home Minister said.
In his Facebook post, Jaitley minced few words. “As one evolves from a young to a middle-aged one, we certainly expect a certain level of maturity.” he wrote. “The more I hear Shri Rahul Gandhi, the more I start wondering ‘how much does he know – when will he know.”
Referring to Rahul’s allegation that the Prime Minister did not discuss matters with his government or the Opposition, Jaitley said he not only works hard and involves himself in the functioning of various departments of the government but also inspires his team to work harder.
He said that all ministers, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Home Minister and he himself were responsible for each important decision taken by their departments.
“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.” Taking a swipe at the Gandhis — the BJP has always called them remote-controls of the UPA government — Jaitley said: “We do not bypass the Prime Minister who is always available for consultation and guidance.”
The Finance Minister said Rahul’s views are “shaped” by the environment of a political party which has evolved into a “crowd around a family”.
After hearing Rahul, Jaitley said, he felt “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.”
Swaraj also rejected Rahul’s remarks that even the Foreign Minister was unaware of Modi’s sudden trip to Lahore. Speaking to ANI, she said: “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.” Swaraj added: “If I would have been present there (in the House), I would have responded to his statement. I reached home and saw his speech, which is not correct.”
Calling him a “lying machine,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said that Gandhi’s speech was “devoid” of facts. Hitting back at his “fair and lovely scheme” jibe at the government’s scheme to tackle black money, the BJP leader said no “fair and lovely” comments could clean up the “black deeds” of the Congress.