Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday targeted his predecessor Manmohan Singh for describing demonetisation as “loot” and “plunder” even as he asserted in the Rajya Sabha that the fight against black money is not a political one or against any party.
He tore into Congress and took on Singh who had described demonetisation as “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”, saying “the art of bathing in a bathroom with a raincoat on” is known only to the former Prime Minister as there is “no blot on him” despite “all the scams”.
This provoked an angry reaction from Congress members who staged a walkout in the midst of the reply by the Prime Minister to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address which was later adopted by the House after negation of all the 651 amendments.
Members of Left, Trinamool Congress and JD(U) also staged a walkout after the reply, complaining that they were unhappy with Modi’s statement and wanted to ask questions which was disallowed.
Modi, in his over one-hour speech, focussed his attack on Congress and other opposition parties for criticising the demonetisation decision and his push for cash-less economy. He also slammed the Congress for finding faults with lack of proper infrastructure in the country, saying by doing so, they were only presenting their “report card” of 70-year rule.
Targeting Singh, he said, “in this country, perhaps 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... We politicians have a lot to learn from Dr Sahab. So much happened, there is not a single blot on him. Dr Sahab is the only person who knows the art of bathing in a bathroom with a raincoat on.”
As Congress members created uproar and staged a walkout, an 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??
He went on to add, “the person who held such a high post, used the words ‘loot’ and ‘plunder’ in the House. Then they (Congress) also should have thought 50 times (before using those words).”