NEW DELHI: BJP MP Prahlad Joshi on Tuesday slammed Congress leader P. Chidambaram's comments comparing selling pakodas (fritters) to begging, as the Lok Sabha took up a debate on the motion of thanks to the President's speech.
Amid protests by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress over the budget, a debate on the motion of thanks was initiated in the Lower House by Bharatiya Janata Party member Rakesh Singh.
Joshi, who was the second speaker from the ruling party, compared Chidambaram's remarks to earlier remarks by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who had referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "chaiwala" or a tea seller.
"He (Chidambaram) is insulting poor people. First you insulted Modi for selling chai in childhood, now you are insulting 'pakoda wala' (fritter seller)," said Joshi.
Chidambaram, who has served as the Finance Minister and Home Minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, had said that by the Prime Minister's logic - if selling 'pakoda' was a job then even begging was a job.
"You, Congress people, you do not know... In Hubli-Dhadwad (Karnataka), there are so many people... One person completed BE degree, he got a job but rejected it because he is earning more in selling pakoda," he said.
"You do not understand the dignity of labour," he said.
He also slammed Congress President Rahul Gandhi's comment calling poverty a "state of mind" and said: "Rahul Gandhi said that poverty is a state of mind. He does not know poverty. He was born with a golden spoon (sic)."
Initiating the discussion earlier, Singh said the work done by the BJP-led government can be gauged from the fact that people were talking about the government's achievements.
"After 10 years of corruption, this (government) was a pleasant change. Now people are talking about achievements of the government, not about corruption," he said.
He also said that the BJP government under Modi was taking Mahatma Gandhi to every household with the Swachh Bharat mission, while Congress just enjoyed power in his name for years.