‘Aggressive’ PM targets BJP’s Narendra Modi for ‘abusing’ Congress leaders

PM aggressively counters vitriolic attack on Cong by Narendra Modi,others at BJP's NAC meet.

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published:March 6, 2013 6:30 pm

An aggressive Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hit out at BJP in the Lok Sabha for trying to belittle UPA government’s achievements saying the party will fail at the hustings next year like it did in 2004 and 2009. In an apparent reference to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s attack on Congress as “termites” and him as a “night watchman” at the BJP National Council meeting in Delhi on Sunday,he said the party hurled the “choicest abuses” against the Congress leadership and made it clear he would not reply to them in “that language”.


Clash of couplets: Sushma takes on Manmohan Singh

It was a clash of couplets between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj in the Lok Sabha as the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address peaked today.

The Prime Minister,while replying to the debate,attacked BJP with an Urdu couplet saying “Humko hai unse wafa ke umeed,jo jante nai hai wafa kya hai (We are expecting loyalty from those who do not know the meaning of the word)”.

He also took a jibe at the bravado of BJP leaders by narrating another couplet — “jo garajte hain,woh baraste nahi (Thunderous clouds do not bring showers)”.

Singh was responding to the “choicest abuses” hurled by BJP leaders against Congress leadership and said he cannot reply in the same language.

Soon after he completed his speech,Swaraj said that in the world of poetry,there is a “debt” if a couplet is not responded to with a couplet.

And she went on say: “Kuch toh majboorian rahee hongi,yun hee koi bewafa nahee hota (there must have been some compulsions,nobody becomes disloyal for no reason).”

She added another couplet addressed to the Prime Minister: “Tumhe wafa yaad nahi,humein jafa yaad nahi. Zindagi aur maut ke toh do hi tarane hein,ek tumhe yaad nahi,ek hamein yaad nahi (you don’t remember my loyalty,I don’t remember your

disloyalty,life has only two songs – one you don’t remember,one I don’t remember.)”

BJP President Rajnath Singh,who was singled out in the attack by the Prime Minister,observed that in the last nine years,he had never seen Manmohan Singh as “aggressive” as today.

He then went on to take a swipe on the Prime Minister by saying that a flame burns the most aggressively when it is about to extinguish.


Winding up the discussion on the motion of thanks on the President’s address,Singh spoke at length on various issues including economy,keeping India’s options open on the US resolution against Sri Lankan at the UNHCR vote,ties with Pakistan and the situation in Maldives.

He expressed confidence that India’s slow down in economy will not persist and that the country will return to the growth rate of 7-8 per cent in next two years.

Reserving his reposte for BJP,the Prime Minister said “You used choicest abuses against us. It is not my intention to reply in that language because our performance is the best judge.”

Employing Urdu and Hindi couplets and proverb deftly,the usually-soft spoken Singh took pot shots at L K Advani,saying the BJP lost the 2004 polls after its “India Shining” campaign and faced defeat against in 2009 when they pitted “iron man” against the “lamb that Manmohan Singh is”.

“I am confident that the people will again elect us in the next elections based on our performance,” the Prime Minister said amidst repeated thumping of desks by the

treasury benches.

“Jo garajte hain,woh baraste nahi (Thunderous clouds do not bring showers),” he said taking a dig at BJP’s use of strong words of criticsm.

Singh gave a comparative analysis of the performance of his government and previous NDA to highlight that the country has progressed much better under UPA in all sectors,like agriculture and manufacturing.

He noted that economic growth had slowed down in 2012-13,because of difficult global situation and expressed confidence that the slowdown will not persist and the country will return to high growth rate of 7-8 per cent in next two years.

In his 45-minute speech,Singh noted that the average economic growth rate of the country in nine years of UPA rule was 7.9 per cent,while that of the six years of NDA rule recorded a GDP growth of 6 per cent.

He said while the current slowdown in industrial growth remains a concern,his government will continue to focus on inclusive growth and would need more investments.

There was a need for further efforts to boost growth,he said,adding “Our growth rate is impressive but we are not satisfied … We need to do a lot more”.

He also compared the industrial growth rate saying while the average growth for past nine years was 8.5 per cent,in the NDA regime it was 5.6 per cent for six years.

The Prime Minister also said in the UPA period,poverty declined at 2 per cent per annum,while in preceding period the rate was no more than 0.8 per cent.

“Inequality is not increasing … Even BIMARU states have also done much better in UPA period than previous period,” Singh said,adding that the country has fared much better in areas of higher education,skill development and environment

protection.

Singh further said that the Current Accout Deficit (CAD) is “substantially higher than we would like it to be”.

He further said the minimum wages in agriculture in the 11th plan was 6.3 per cent,while in previous it was no more than 1.1 per cent.

Highlights

* PM criticises BJP for using “choicest abuses” against the Congress leadership at its National Council meet.

* Current Account Deficit is substantially higher than we would like it to be,says PM.

* India’s economic slow down will not persist; we are determined to bring the country back to the growth path of 8 per cent,says PM.

* PM says more efforts needed to boost growth; promises to work for promotion of investments.

* Agriculture growth expected to be higher than 1.8 per cent projected during the current fiscal,says PM

* India’s position on Sri Lanka at UN will depend on final text of resolution to be moved by the US,says PM.

* We remain engaged with Sri Lanka govt over safety and security of Indian fishermen,says PM

* India remains concerned over ongoing developments in Maldives

* Barbaric incident of beheading of Indian soldier by Pak troops has cast shadow on bilateral ties: PM

* We are yet to see tangible progress on dismantling terror infrastructure by Pakistan or bringing to book those behind Mumbai attacks: PM

Concerned over Maldives political instability,says PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed concern over the political instability in Maldives and hoped that it will have “free,fair and credible”

elections in September,which India would support.

With Maldives witnessing a tussle between the Waheed government and former President Mohammed Nasheed,Singh said India wants all stakeholders in the island nation to resolve the issues “through dialogue”.

He said that India would work closely to strengthen the relations with the island nation.

“We remain concerned about critical political instability in Maldives. It is our hope that Maldives will have free,fair and credible elections in September to elect their President,” Singh said replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks on the Presidential address.

“India will support all efforts to ensure free,fair and credible elections…We are closely monitoring the developments. We will work closely to strengthen our relations with Maldives,” the Prime Minister said.

Singh asked all stakeholders in Maldives to resolve the issues “through dialogue”.

He noted that the election commission in Maldives has announced that Presidential polls would be held in September.

His comments came a day after Nasheed was arrested yesterday less than a fortnight after he left the Indian High Commission in Male where he was holed up for 11 days to evade arrest in a case concerning the detention of the Chief Criminal Judge during his Presidency. Nasheed was released by the court today.

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