"Either he declares that this is in the government's policy that youth of North India are incompetent and incapable of getting jobs or the minister should apologise," the Congress leader said while addressing a presser.
Former Union Minister Shukla also attacked the Narendra Modi government for not fulfilling its promise of providing two crore jobs every year. "The government had promised to provide two crore jobs every year, but on the contrary, two crore people have lost jobs," he said.
He claimed that only 30 per cent people who undertook training under the government's ambitious "Skill India" programme were provided with jobs. "The government claims 16 lakh people were trained under Skill India and still if you say that they are incompetent then the question is why did you train them," Shukla said.
The reaction by Congress comes after while addressing a press conference on September 14 in Bareilly, Gangwar had said that there is a lack of qualifications among North Indian candidates while asserting that there was no dearth of job opportunities in the country.
"I want to say that there is no dearth of job opportunities in the country. Those who come for recruitment in north India often complain that they are unable to find the quality in candidates required for the post they are hiring for," he had said.
"I am looking after the same ministry and I monitor the situation on a daily basis. There is no dearth of employment in the country. We have employment exchanges for a purpose and we have also developed a separate system. Our ministry monitors the situation," Gangwar added.
The minister drew harsh criticism from several political leaders for the statement.
His statement came at a time when the economy slumped to a seven-year low of 5 per cent in April to June quarter from 8 per cent a year ago. The economic slowdown coupled with employment has raised concern among economists and politicians who are holding centre responsible for it.