There was an uproar in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday as the Opposition staged a walkout over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on former prime minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh.
Taking a dig at Singh, PM Modi said, “For almost 35 years, Manmohan Singh ji had a lot of influence on country’s economic policies. There was not a single corruption charge against him, that too during the most corrupt government. The art of taking bath wearing a raincoat can be learnt only from Manmohan Singh.”
Responding to the walkout, PM said if they breach decorum, they should have courage to listen to the response too. Meanwhile, when asked for his comments on PM Modi’s remarks by news agency ANI, Manmohan Singh refused to comment.
Modi said, “I can’t deny that inconvenience was a bad thing, that it caused convenience, and that’s why the fight against black money isn’t political. It’s not to oppose anyone, it’s not the cause to fight against political. It’s our duty to fight against black money. It’s also true that the parallel economy is hurting the poor the most. It takes away things from the poor. It’s not like no one tried before. The endgame is to fight black money. We can’t shove it under the carpet. Jaali note, aankre is just about jaali note reaching banks, it never reached banks before and terrorists, naxalist, use the black notes.”
Modi made the comments while mounting an aggressive defence of his police of demonetisation and digitisation. While responding to Congress leader Anand Sharma’s allegation that a lot of money was spent to push digitisation in the counytry, he said, “Anand Sharma ji was asking why are you spending crores on Digital tech. Not a single extra penny was spent in development of BHIM app.”
He said that demonetisation was required to deal with the problems of corruption and terrorism in the country.
“Corruption has adversely impacted the aspirations of the poor and the middle class,” he said, adding, “Till when we will keep brushing things under the carpet.”