NEW DELHI: The Congress on Thursday decided to boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament until he apologises for his insulting remarks about his predecessor Manmohan Singh. The party received support from some other Opposition parties which also demanded an apology from PM.
The Congress raised the issue in the House and outside Parliament and got the support from parties like CPM and JD (U). The Opposition forced two adjournments in the Rajya Sabha and demanded an apology from Modi on his “taking bath while wearing a raincoat” jibe at Manmohan during the reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address on Wednesday.
While the Upper House did not function during the morning session, the Opposition allowed the debate on the Budget in the afternoon.
Starting the discussion, former finance minister P Chidambaram said the prime minister should remember that the chair he sat on was used by Jawaharlal Nehru and even Atal Bihari Vajpayee and hence he should use appropriate language.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said that the matter will not end here and the Opposition will meet to discuss to carry it forward.
“It is very demeaning and undermines parliamentary democracy. The government is accountable to Parliament and Parliament is accountable to the people. But the government has refused to be accountable to people,” said Yechury.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that they will boycott the Prime Minister. “We will not listen to him but we will not assault the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister. At the same time, we will continue to protest, we know that he is an obdurate person,” he told media representatives.
Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at the Congress party in Parliament, saying it is no longer a conventional political outfit representing certain ideology but a “conglomeration believing in divinity and devotion to a family”.
However, the sharpest retort to Modi’s comment perhaps came from the Shiv Sena chief. “Though he wore a raincoat, (former Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh at least bathed using water. You (Modi) did not even use water to bathe everybody (in the country). You created fizz without soap,” Uddhav Thackeray said, in an apparent reference to hardships caused by the demonetisation.