New Delhi: It was a day of walkouts in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened during the reply to the motion of thanks to President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the parliament.
First, Congress members staged a walkout after Mr Modi took a dig at former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Taunting Dr Singh on his “silence” over scams in the United Progressive Alliance government, Mr Modi said, “Only Dr Manmohan Singh knows how to take bath wearing a raincoat.”
Staring at the empty opposition benches, he said that if they breached decorum, they should have the courage to listen to the response as well.
Taking on his predecessor for criticism against demonetisation, Mr Modi said, “In this country, perhaps there will be hardly anyone from the economics 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 occu-rred. We politicians have a lot to learn from Doctor Sahab. So much happened, there is not a single blot on him. Doctor Sahab is the only person who knows the art of bathing in a bathroom with a raincoat on,” said Mr Modi.
The Congress reacted angrily to the comments and staged a walkout in the midst of Mr Modi’s reply to a debate on motion of thanks to the President’s address.
The motion was later adopted by the House after negation of all the 651 amendments. Members of the CPM, CPI, TMC and the JD(U) also staged a walkout after the reply, complaining that they were totally unhappy with Mr Modi’s statement.
People support demonetisation: PM
As Congress members created uproar and staged a walkout, a visibly angry Modi said, “If you cross the limits of decorum, then you should have courage to listen to the response. We have the capacity to pay in the same coin. We do so within the limits of decorum and boundaries of the Constitution. They (Congress) don’t want to accept the defeat in any form. How long will it continue? The person who held such a high post, used the words ‘loot’ and ‘plunder’ in the House.
Mr Singh, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session, had castigated the Prime Minister over demonetisation, saying its implementation was a “monumental management failure” and a case of “organised loot and legalised plunder.”
He said while 125 crore countrymen are making efforts to come out of “inner malaise” of black money and corruption, Congress and other opposition parties are standing against it. “Usually government and public are face-to-face on issues but this is such a decision where government and people are together,” Mr Modi said.