New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday said it is time Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed views on crucial issues like the coal mines allocation scam and poverty and wondered that if he is not "fit" for a bigger role at 42 how can he be so at the age of 52.

"The truth is that in the last eight years, we have not heard Rahul Gandhi speak. Occasionally, he has read out statements here and there. We have not heard him speak about corruption, price rise and poverty.... That may have led to the assessment that he does not exist. That brand Rahul does not exist," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.

He pointed out Gandhi has not spoken on the 2G spectrum issue even though it was such a big issue in which former Telecom Minister A Raja had to go to jail. And till now, Gandhi has not spoken on the coal scam either, Rudy said.

"Is he with the Prime Minister or against him? He should speak out whether the charge of a Constitutional institution, the CAG, on the PM for the loot of Rs 1.86 Lakh crore (in the coal scam) is right or wrong. After all, he has to be a statesman. We haven't heard from him," Rudy said.

"Many a times, there are views from his party that he will be holding the highest post in the government, that he will head the party... But a person who is not fit at 42, what assessment can we have that he will be fit at 52?" Rudy said.

Describing Gandhi as a "crown prince", Rudy said in reply to a question that he was referring to the Congress General Secretary's "administrative, political and mental maturity" when he mentioned his age.

BJP also referred to Gandhi's visit to Assam's Kokrajhar, which was hit by ethnic violence, saying it is natural for him to go there and express grief over the incident but objected to the use of a defence services plane by the Congress leader.

"He went on a defence service plane and the Defence Minister was acting like an escort service- while getting down from the plane or asking for a helicopter there. The Defence Minister has become an escort service agency," Rudy said.

"May be, it is the perks and privileges of being in the government. It could be that. But we are afraid the Defence Minister and the Defence Ministry should not be made an escort service division," he added.

(Agencies)

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