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  1. Why PM Narendra Modi’s fierce counter will make Manmohan Singh hesitate to debate even economics

Why PM Narendra Modi’s fierce counter will make Manmohan Singh hesitate to debate even economics

Wit, style and above all a non-aggressive body language - Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have mastered the art of addressing the Parliament.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: February 8, 2017 11:37 PM
PM Modi 'praised' Dr Manmohan Singh for knowing the 'art of taking a shower in the bathroom, even while wearing a raincoat!'. (File Photo) PM Modi ‘praised’ Dr Manmohan Singh for knowing the ‘art of taking a shower in the bathroom, even while wearing a raincoat!’. (File Photo)

Wit, style and above all a non-aggressive body language – Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have mastered the art of addressing the Parliament. It’s an art that seems to leave the Opposition clueless in a way that it decides to walk away – literally – from the issue at hand! Such was the case when PM Modi, in his Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, attacked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, in his usual subtle yet authoritative style, PM Modi ‘praised’ Dr Manmohan Singh for knowing the ‘art of taking a shower in the bathroom, even while wearing a raincoat!’.

How did PM Modi draw this parallel, you wonder? Here’s the context in which the ‘praise’ (read: jibe) came: “For the past 30 to 35 years, Dr Manmohan Singh has been directly involved in India’s economic policies, that too in a position of decision making. In 70 years of Independence, I doubt if there is any person who would have had the power to influence the economy for as many as 35 years, as he did…the news of so many scams emerged – all of us politicians have something to learn from Doctor saheb – so many scams, and yet there was no blot on him. To take a shower in the bathroom, while wearing a raincoat, is an art that only Doctor saheb knows,” PM Modi joked, hitting home a point that seemed to pierce Congress right where it hurts most.

Watch: PM Narendra Modi’s full speech in Rajya Sabha that riled Congress

PM Modi had earlier this week attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in his Lok Sabha address, but it appears from the party’s reaction that the dig at Manmohan Singh was unbearable! And why shouldn’t it? In all these years, even while Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, Congress always banked on the leader’s clean image. Indeed, Manmohan Singh, despite heading a government that lost spectacularly because of multiple scam accusations, was able to project that he was not involved in any act of corruption.

Of late, Congress had been banking on Manmohan Singh’s sound knowledge of economics to target the Modi government on various issues, the most recent being demonetisation. Manmohan Singh had in Parliament called the government’s demonetisation move ‘organised loot and legalised plunder’.

However, with today’s open attack on Singh, Modi has tried to put an end to Congress attempts of showcasing Manmohan as the economist whose word and wisdom cannot be doubted. Modi has tactfully questioned, yet again, Manmohan Singh’s ‘ability’ to head a government that was riddled in scams after scams. He has refreshed in the minds of people the very reason for which Congress was voted out of power in the 2014 elections – Manmohan Singh’s inability to check corruption. Modi has driven home a hard-hitting point – no matter how qualified Manmohan Singh may be in the field of economics, hard facts show he left office with an economy in shambles.

Manmohan Singh declined to comment on PM Modi’s speech. “I do not want to speak,” was all that Singh said in his characteristic style of keeping silent. Silence, they say is golden. But in Congress’s case, it has cost it a lot, as past experience shows. One would recall the famous words of Manmohan Singh, when in 2012 he had as PM said “Hazaaron jawabon se acchi hai meri khamoshi…”. The silence didn’t pay off for the Congress then, and it is doubtful that it will be of any help now. Golden silence doesn’t always shine!

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  1. A
    aadesh
    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    scams of congress are known to nation, so what modi is trying to do by reinventing the wheel?instead of slinging mud at former pm he shud focus on development and jobs, so far he is much behind on delivering on promises of 2014 elections, better pick speed or he will history in 2019.
    Reply
    1. B
      bmniac
      Feb 8, 2017 at 7:06 pm
      The Khatris who crossed the border into India did well in and around Delhi when surviving and flourishing was everything. Hard work yes, standing up for values only if it suited them. Dr Man Mohan Singh Kohli to give his full name was a past Master in the Management of Survival. As rightly pointed out Dr Singh after entering Government as Economic Adviser rose gradually to occupy the position of CEA, Econ Secy, Governor RBI and Dy Chairman Planning Commission. And joined politics to become de jure FM and de jure PM. A follower of Prebischin 1991 he embraced Free market economic reluctantly following the Brettonwoods twins. As Pm he followed Mrs hi. Perhaps personally clean he had no use for integrity having made his Faustian pact. He touched the nadir by his unusual and unwarranted description of demonetization even predicting a steep fall in growth. It is too late for his party to complain as they asked for it. The deterioration in the quality of Parliamentary proceedings is in no small measure the result of the decline in the Old Party itself. It is sad for the country. The PM may be a little misguided but he has shown both courage and integrity which had disappeared with the advent of Mrs hi. A sad state of affairs but one can expect things to improve in the coming years.
      Reply
      1. M
        mark
        Feb 8, 2017 at 8:40 pm
        another useless modi bhakt who only praises a chaiwala who has stooped to the lowest level in politics. I doubt whether in the history of independent India we have ever had a PM who has resorted to callling childish names and insulted the dignity of the post
        Reply
        1. Mohammed Uzair Shaikh
          Feb 8, 2017 at 9:14 pm
          Why is Financial Express turning trash? The quality of this portal is turning worse. For sake of online page views, please don't ruin your credibility.
          Reply
          1. N
            Nityananda
            Feb 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm
            It is a personal comment against MMS by Mr Modi. In MMS case, he severely attacked the POLICY of demonetization, but not the person who was behind that policy. That is the difference between the two comments.It does look as if Mr Modi is running short of arguments to defend demonetization.
            Reply
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