Terming as "frivolous" and "childish" Rahul Gandhi's remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign trips, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today came up with a sharp retort, asking the Congress leader where was he during his recent 56-day sabbatical.
The comments from Singh, who is Minister of State in the PMO as well as Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), came after Gandhi, Vice President of Congress, took a dig at the Prime Minister, saying that after his tours abroad, he should spend time with farmers of the country.
"It is very frivolous and very childish. And all of us, every Indian, should be proud of Prime Minister's visit abroad. The Prime Minister has gone abroad in order to discharge very important national duty and the manner in which he has been received there, the kind of enthusiastic response he has received, should make each one of us proud," Singh told reporters here.
Singh said people were not aware of Gandhi's whereabouts during his absence from the political scene for 56 days while everyone knew where the prime minister was today.
"On the contrary you should ask the leader making such allegations that at least we are aware where our Prime Minister is and we proudly say today he is in South Korea. But we were not aware of this gentleman where he was," he said.
Gandhi, who was touring his Amethi constituency, had said earlier "the Prime Minister is visiting foreign countries, but he does not go to the houses of farmers and labourers." He was there to meet cultivators who have suffered crop loss due to unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms.
In reply to another question about the claims made by Pakistan's former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf on Kargil, Singh claimed that India always had upper hand in the area.
"I think the sequence of event points otherwise. India has always had an upper hand both before Kargil, during Kargil and even today and that is something which is now being acknowledged across the world," he said.
Musharraf had yesterday said that the Pakistani army "caught India by throat" during Kargil. "There was a second line force, too, which caught India by throat and that was later given the status of army," he had said while addressing a ceremony of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in Karachi.
In May 1999, India and Pakistan, in their most serious military engagement since 1971, clashed in Kargil area of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir after militants backed by Pakistan's Northern Light Infantry occupied the mountain peaks of the region.