Modi insults Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha, Congress left fuming

New low in Parliament, Modi's pejorative comment may work against him and his government.

Modi insults Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha, Congress left fuming

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attacked former prime minister Manmohan Singh in his M0tion of Thanks in the Rajya Sabha.

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.”

The Congress staged a walkout after the attack on the former PM. Singh himself refused to react. Congress leader P. Chidambaram said it was a comment beneath the office of the prime minister and that Modi should not have attacked Singh like this, and that on the floor of the House.

Singh had attacked the Modi government over demonetisation saying it was "monumental mismanagement". The Congress has said that it will not let the House function until the PM apologises to Singh.

Saying the attack on Manmohan Singh was cheap and uncalled for, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the jibe was made in the Motion of Thanks, after everyone else had spoken, leaving no room for the Congress or Singh to join the debate.

Defending demonetisation earlier,  Modi said it was a fight against corruption and black money. " It is not a political fight and it is not to single out any particular party," Modi said while attacking the opposition parties.  For those who remember, the PM had made several campaign speeches in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and elsewhere where he made pointed reference to demonetisation being a weapon against "corrupt" parties.

The Prime Minister, who said demonetisation was introduced like surgery because the economy was healthy and not otherwise, to great and universal ridicule on Twitter and elsewhere, said on Wednesday that India will be a case study for economists worldwide. “You quote foreign economists, I can quote 10 of them on the fact that such an action hasn’t been taken in the world ever. The world's economists don’t know parameters to assess it. What India did will be a case study for economists worldwide.”

“Corruption has hurt the economy and common man. We will have to be tough on those cheating the system, when we do that, hands of the poor will be strengthened,” said PM, adding that “in 40 days almost 700 Maoists surrendered during the period of November-December.”