War of words: Congress, BJP clash over PM Modi’s remarks on Manmohan Singh

New Delhi: The war of words over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “bathing with raincoat” jibe directed at his predecessor Dr. Manmohan Singh continued on February 9, with both Congress and BJP locked in fiery exchanges inside and outside the Parliament.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed Prime Minister Modi’s remarks as “an insult to the entire nation.”

“When Modi ji speaks in this way, he not only insulted Manmohan ji but the people of the entire nation,” Rahul said at a rally in poll-bound Uttarakhand.

The Gandhi scion had February 8 called the comments shameful and demeaning to the position of the Prime Minister. He renewed his attack against Prime Minister  Modi and said, “Modi ji is perhaps the first Prime Minister who speaks disrespectfully about his predecessors. He should learn some manners.”

During his address to the Rajya Sabha yesterday, Prime Minister Modi took a dig at former  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s purportedly “squeaky clean image” by describing him as a person, who has mastered the art of bathing in a bathroom with a raincoat on.

Angry Congress leaders walked out of the House in a huff and deputy leader of opposition Anand Sharma, P. Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal condemned Modi’s attack on Singh as “most unacceptable” and demanded an apology from the Prime Minister for the “ugly remark.”

BJP on its part said the Congress had no moral right to preach or give sermons to others.

Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu demanded the Congress to tender an apology for obstructing Parliament and for making uncharitable remarks against the prime minister.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad attacked Rahul Gandhi for his ‘khoon ki dalali’ remark against Modi after the surgical strikes.

Taking the Prime Minister’s side, he added there was nothing wrong in PM Modi’s barb in the Rajya Sabha.

“Fun, pun, repartee and exchange of mild or strong words are a part of parliamentary convention. Why are the Congress so troubled by this?” Prasad said.

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