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
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.