AMETHI: Facing flak from the BJP for the virtual washout of the recent budget session of Parliament, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today hit back, saying the Prime Minister who has the time to travel all over the country, could not spare 15 minutes for the Lok Sabha.
"Prime Minister is travelling across the country, but he does not have 15 minutes to give a speech in the Lok Sabha," Rahul Gandhi told reporters here on the second day of his three-day visit to his Parliamentary constituency.
"15 minute de dein, khare nahin ho payenge Lok Sabha mein (He will not be able to face the Lok Sabha even for 15 minutes, he will not be able to answer our queries)," he said.
The BJP, however, reacted sharply to Gandhi's remarks saying the Congress leader will do well worrying more about his constituency.
"As far as the Prime Minister speaking in the Lok Sabha is considered, Rahul Gandhi will not be able to compete with him," state BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
Pathak said, "Rahul is in his parliamentary constituency and the people there are questioning him about about the state of the 'adarsh' (ideal) village and what all he has done about the development schemes which he had to support.
"As far as facing the Lok Sabha is concerned, all know how Modiji speaks in the Parliament. Those who are raising questions on this should self-evaluate as to how long they can sit with full concentration there," Pathak said.
Earlier, referring to the Indo-French inter-governmental pact inked in September, 2016 for buying 36 off-the-shelf Dassault Rafale twin-engine fighters for the IAF, Rahul said, "It's a case of direct theft in the Rafale deal. Rs. 45,000 crore has been given to an industrialist friend."
To a question, the Congress president said, "Jobs were snatched but the Prime Minister did not speak a word on it."
Raking up the issue of alleged embezzlement of over Rs 13,500 crore from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) by the uncle-nephew duo Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, Gandhi said, "He (the PM) refers to Nirav Modi as Nirav and Mehul Chowksi as Mehul bhai and this is a fact. Whose good days have come?"
"Modiji had said good days would come for the people, but the reality is that 'achcey din' have come for only 15 people like Nirav Modi and Muhul Chowksi. For the farmers, labourers and the poor, these are bad days," he asserted.
Continuing his attack, Rahul said, "Nirav Modi fled with country's money but the prime minister did not say a word. He took out the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes from the pockets of the common man in the name of demonetisation and put them in the pocket of Nirav Modi."
Later addressing a gathering at Majhgawa in Gauriganj assembly segment of his Lok Sabha constituency, Rahul said his party wanted all-round development of Amethi but the Modi government took away most of the projects including IIIT, mega food park and the paper mill which would have provided employment to thousands of youth.
He, however, promised that he would again try to bring back some projects, including the food park, in the interest of local youths.
"Unless youths are employed, the country will not progress up to mark," he said.
In a meeting with a committee for the establishment of a university in Amethi, he said he would make another effort in this regard.
Rahul said he had already written a letter to the HRD Minister for it.
He laid the foundation stone of some projects including the establishment of a community centre at Majhgawa in Jamo block.
Before flying back to Delhi, he is scheduled to attend the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting at Gauriganj collectorate.