Dr Saab Can Bathe With Rain­coat: PM

“Dr Singh has been di­rectly in­volved in de­ci­sions for sev­eral years. There were many scams, but politi­cians should learn from Dr Saab. There is not a sin­gle stain against him de­spite all the scams. Only Doc­tor Saab knows how to bathe with a rain­coat in ba

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi hit back at his pre­de­ces­sorMan­mo­hanSingh­forhis­barbs against de­mon­eti­sa­tion dur­ing his re­ply to the mo­tion of thanks to the Pres­i­dent’s ad­dress in the Ra­jya Sab­haonWed­nes­day.Modi’sre­marks in­fu­ri­ated the Congress and saw its MPs walk out of the Ra­jya Sabha. “Dr Man­mo­han Singh has been di­rectly in­volved in eco­nomic de­ci­sions for sev­eral years. He has had great in­flu­ence on them. There were how many scams, but politi­cians should learn from Dr Saab. There is not a sin­gle stain against him de­spite all the scams. Only Doc­tor Saab knows how to bathe with a rain­coat in the bath­room,” Modi said. Singh had dur­ing the win­ter ses­sion of Par­lia­ment termed the de­mon­eti­sa­tion as ‘loot’ and ‘plun­der’ of the econ­omy. Singed by the PM’s re­marks, the Congress staged a walk­out. Singh ini­tially ap­peared re­luc­tant to walk out, but joined his party col­leagues once all of them filed out of the House in protest. Un­fazed by the walk out Modi said, “what about when ‘loot and plun­der’ words used? You (Congress) should also have the courage to listen. We have the strength to hit back in the same coin.”

Mem­bers from the Left, Tri­namool, JDU, SP and NCP did not join the Congress in the walk­out though Left par­ties, JDU and Tri­namool staged a walk out when amend­ments were taken up af­ter prime min­is­ter fin­ished his re­ply. The walk­out meant that the gov­ern­ment did not have to fear about vot­ing on the 651 amend­ments moved by var­i­ous mem­bers of the Op­po­si­tion. All the amend­ments were negated by a voice vote by the trea­sury benches. This was a re­lief for the gov­ern­ment in the Ra­jya Sabha, where the Op­po­si­tion had amended the mo­tion of thanks to the Pres­i­dent em­bar­rass­ing the rul­ing party in the last two years.

Re­ply­ing to the de­bate on the mo­tion of thanks, Modi ac­knowl­edged that the Op­po­si­tion has fo­cused on the is­sue of de­mon­eti­sa­tion and jus­ti­fied it as a move to clean up the eco­nomic sys­tem for the ben­e­fit of the poor and the mid­dle class.

“Hon­est per­son will not get the strength till we act tough against the dis­hon­est. That is why this step (de­mon­eti­sa­tion) will ben­e­fit the hon­est…It has brought about a hor­i­zon­tal di­vide in the coun­try, where gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic are on one side while a lot of politi­cians were on the other side,” Modi said de­fend­ing the de­mon­eti­sa­tion de­ci­sion. In this con­text, Modi said that Man­mo­han Singh’s crit­i­cism was akin to a fore­word to any book writ­ten by some­one else, to sug­gest that Singh’s speech was scripted by the Congress. Modi also in­voked the Wan­choo Com­mit­tee re­port of the 1970s that called for de­mon­eti­sa­tion dur­ing the Indira Gandhi regime as well as re­ferred to Jy­otir­may Basu’s sup­port for de­mon­eti­sa­tion in 70s to crit­i­cise both the Congress and Left par­ties for their ob­jec­tions to the move. In­ci­den­tally, the Mo­rarji De­sai gov­ern­ment had re­called high denom­i­na­tion cur­ren­cies, which was not good enough to check black money.

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