New Delhi: Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday raised doubts about "maturity" of Congress vice president and said the more he hears him, the more he wonders "how much does he know and when will he know."
In a Facebook post in response to Gandhi's charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi hardly consulted senior ministers, Jaitley said Modi not only works hard and involves himself in the functioning of the various departments of the government but also inspires his team to work harder.
"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," he said.
Jaitley said all ministers including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and he himself were responsible for each important decision taken by their departments.
"We do not by-pass the Prime Minister who is always available for consultation and guidance," he said.
He was reacting to Gandhi's claim that Swaraj was not consulted on the Pakistan policy, Rajnath Singh was unaware of the Nagaland accord and Jaitley did not know of the Budget proposals.
Finance Minister said Gandhi'’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," he said.
Taunting Gandhi, Jaitley said, "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'.
In the post titled 'How much does he know – when will he know', the minister went on to say that after hearing 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."