New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jibe in Rajya Sabha at his predecessor Manmohan Singh for “a string of scams that took place on his watch” sparked ruckus with the Congress staging a walkout in the middle of his speech.
Even though many scams took place in the country during the UPA regime, Mr Singh’s image remained clean, the PM said, adding, “only Dr. sahab knows the art of taking a shower with a raincoat on.”
The entire Congress bench erupted in protests, disrupting the PM’s speech for a few minutes.
The former PM has spoken out against Mr Modi’s demonetisation move, describing it as “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the last Winter Session, he had castigated Mr Modi, saying the implementation of demonetisation was a “monumental management failure”.
Dr Singh refused to react to PM Modi’s remarks, saying, “I do not want to comment.” After Mr Modi’s remark in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday members of the Left, Trinamul Congress and JD(U) also staged a walkout after the reply, complaining that they were unhappy with Mr Modi’s statement and wanted to ask questions which were disallowed.
“There will be hardly anyone from the economic field who has had dominance on the country’s financial affairs for half of the country’s 70 years of Independence. Out of 70 years, for 30-35 years he has been directly associated with financial decisions. So many scams occurred…. So much happened, there is not a single blot on him. Dr Sahab is the only person who knows the art of bathing with a raincoat on,” the PM said.
As Congress members created uproar and staged a walkout, a visibly angry Prime Minister said, “If you cross the limits of decorum, then you should have the courage to listen to the response. The person who held such a high post used the words ‘loot’ and ‘plunder’ in the House. They (Congress) also should have thought 50 times (before using those words).”
Mr Modi also quoted a book authored by former home secretary Madhav Godbole which, he said, contained criticism of Indira Gandhi for not undertaking demonetisation in 1971 when there was an opportunity.