Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has no job except spending a lot of time working on people’s visas. Swaraj is known for quick action on complaints or requests made by citizens in India or aboard, and has been praised for her alacrity with which she responds on Twitter. However, Gandhi said that she did it because there was no other job for the Minister to do.
Gandhi made the remarks while speaking at an event in London in the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS). He referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal interventions in foreign affairs matters and said that “everybody says that it is a great thing that India’s Foreign Minister spends a lot of her time working on visas”.
Sushma Swaraj spends time on visas, because she has no other job in ministry: Rahul Gandhi
“Do you realise what that statement means? It means the Foreign Minister has nothing better to do than get people visas. So, only there is the monopoly of the Foreign Ministry, and the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) has monopoly over the Foreign Ministry,” the Congress President said.
Calling Sushma Swaraj a capable lady, Gandhi said: “If you actually give her the power to do something, she could probably break that monopoly.”
The Congress President’s target was Prime Minister Modi and his office (PMO). According to Rahul, PMO does not let things move in the External Affairs Ministry. He said: “In India…if you’re seeing something that is not scaling in India, just look at the monopoly that is not letting that happen.”
“If you bring in new voices, if you bring in business, if you bring in other think tanks and give them actual power in the Foreign Ministry, it’ll scale immediately,” Gandhi said.
The Congress President also accused the Prime Minister of not doing enough on India’s faceoff with China in Doklam. He said that the Doklam standoff was not an isolated issue.
“Prime Minister is episodic. He views Doklam as an event. If he (PM Modi) was carefully watching the process, he could’ve stopped it,” Gandhi said.