Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday launched a fresh attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for criticising Indian government policies on China, and said that he should be ashamed of his remarks.
Ms Sitharaman was speaking to reporters in Mumbai on Monday.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) should be ashamed while taunting the government of India on China issue. He is briefed by the Chinese Ambassador but he doesn't listen to what our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says on the topic," she said.
Ms Sitharaman's statement came weeks after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's response in which he referred to Rahul Gandhi's meeting with the Chinese ambassador to India during the Doklam crisis. Congress leader had attacked the government, suggesting that new territory had been lost to China's salami slicing.
"I would have offered to take classes on China from Rahul Gandhi but I discovered he was taking classes on China from the Chinese ambassador," Mr Jaishankar had said while responding to the Congress leader's criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's handling of relations with China.
Further hitting out at Congress, Ms Sitharaman said, "Whenever the External Affairs Minister speaks in the parliament on this issue, the leaders of the Congress party either walk out or shout in their loudest voices to disrupt the EAM's speech.
"Whenever he (EAM) speaks in parliament on this issue, the Congress leaders either walk out or shout in their loudest voices to disrupt EAM's speech," she said.
She also condemned Rahul Gandhi for denouncing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that no one knows what agreement he has signed with the Chinese people.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) should also be ashamed while taunting about 56 inches, specially when no one knows what agreement he had signed with Chinese people," she said.
"Neither you nor we nor anyone else knows what was on that agreement. You (Journalists) should ask him this question also why he doesn't come to the fore with the details of his agreement with the Chinese. You must speak the truth to the power," she added.
Speaking on the freebies culture in politics, Ms Sitharaman said that the issues of freebies must be discussed and debated.
"Freebies culture in politics is growing and I can't say when it will be continued. What I can say is that the issues of freebies must be discussed and debated. We can't segregate on the basis that our freebies are right and their freebies are wrong. The necessity and politics of freebies must be discussed and debated," she added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)