NEW DELHI: Lauding Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's intellectual abilities and being "Prime Ministerial material", former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani today said he is standing at the crossroads of history and has to choose between future of "glory" or that of "degradation".
"I have so much of respect for my friend, Pranabda. He has been the longest companion of mine in Parliamentary life. I know about his intellectual abilities. I believe that he is Prime Ministerial material.
"But, Sir, today, he is standing at the crossroads of history.... One is the road to glory, a glorious future and the other is the road to absolute degradation, breach of faith and breach of trust. It is for him to decide as to which way he wants to go. I hope he will go the way to a glorious future," Jethmalani said while participating in the debate on general budget in the Rajya sabha.
Jethamalani clarified further "the glorious future lies only in making some kind of compensation to the people for your past crimes, seeking their forgiveness, and going back to them with a clean mind and a clean soul."
The noted lawyer-MP earlier said the Prime Minister had "passed off" his responsibility to the Finance Minister to reply to the provisions of the general budget.
"I have a word of appreciation for the great cleverness of our Prime Minister. The other day, in his speech on the motion of thanks to the President's speech, he quietly passed off a large part of his responsibility by telling us that most of these matters relate to the Ministry of Finance and that the Finance Minister would be before this House during the budget discussion and he would answer to most of the problems which have been raised during the course of the speech.
"Now, Sir, this transfer of responsibility to the Finance Minister, however wise the step was on behalf of the Prime Minister, with due respect, is not very fair to the poor Finance Minister."