Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and outgoing Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh of the Congress indulged in some light banter in the house. Delivering his farewell speech as upper house member, Ramesh said: “We were taught to spin khadi by Mahatma Gandhi. But the leader of the house ( Arun Jaitley ) spins facts, and he is a master spinner of facts.”
As the house broke into laughter, Ramesh also related an anecdote about former Indian cricketer Vijay Merchant.
“As I leave, I am reminded of the famous words of cricketer Vijay Merchant. When he retired, he was asked, ‘Why are you going?’ And Merchant said, ‘It is better to go when people ask why is he going rather than why isn’t he going’,” Ramesh said.
When Jaitley’s turn to speak came, he said Ramesh was an old and dear friend. “I hope that a person of his calibre comes back to the house. But I would like to correct him here one last time.” “It was Sunil Gavaskar who said these words (retirement quotes) and not Vijay Merchant,” Jaitley said, smiling. “This is also a spin,” Ramesh interjected with a smile.
A smiling Jaitley said, “It was Sunil Gavaskar. He played a wonderful innings but suddenly announced his retirement. People asked why? He replied saying you must retire when people say why and not when why not. But I think you have a long innings to play”.
Hoping that Ramesh will be back in Parliament, the Finance Minister said the Congress leader has seen a lot of evolution.
“I knew you when you were an economic liberal. And I have seen your transformation to an economic conservative. And I think whatever be your viewpoint, the country probably, and his party needs it and I am sure they will put his services to the best of use,” Jaitley said (IANS)