Enraged by his “raincoat jibe” against Manmohan Singh, Congress today announced that it will boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament during the entire budget session and will try to bring on board other opposition parties too.
“We will boycott the Prime Minister. We will not listen to him, but we will not assault the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister. At the same time, we will continue to protest, we know that he is an obdurate person.
“It is sad that we have an arrogant person who occupies the chair of the Prime Minister. He has demeaned his office repeatedly by his choice of words and language,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters.
Congress this morning held a strategy meet of opposition parties including JD(U), Left, DMK and Samajwadi Party over the issue.
Sharma claimed that the other parties too will join them.
Asked if the boycott will be for this Session alone, he said this is a long session and the opposition parties will meet in the inter-session period.
“Now we have gone into recess and we will be coordinating our position very closely. Do not worry, let us meet again on March 9 in Parliament.
“This story which the Prime Minister has scripted, we will be concluding. That final chapter will be written by us and Prime Minister must note that. I am making it very clear.
“He has started the first chapter, we will write the last chapter on this subject,” he said giving out a virtual threat to the ruling dispensation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday mocked his predecessor Manmohan Singh while replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha, saying one should learn the art of “bathing with a raincoat on” from him as there was not a single taint on him despite so many scams taking place during his regime.
Congress had yesterday taken strong exception to the “raincoat” jibe and staged a walkout and demanded an apology from him. Congress also disrupted the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha today and protested in the Lok Sabha.
The Congress leader said the Prime Minister “is intolerant to criticism. He lives in denial. He is also arrogant. He has lowered the dignity of office repeatedly and has used language which is unacceptable in political debates.
“He has dragged the political debates to unacceptable depths. We have been urging the PM to desist from doing this. But, he relishes using foul languages and insulting the Opposition,” he said.
“The Congress party consciously took this decision because we could not be sitting there as he was abusing our leaders, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh without any provocation from him, and insulted the memory of Indira Gandhi, who was martyred,” he said.
Sharma said Modi violated the rules of business and ethics of the House and breached the privileges of members, as Manmohan Singh is a sitting member and the Prime Minister could not have said anything against him without informing him and bringing a substantive motion. This, he said, has been pointed out today.
“This must be understood. We know what BJP is saying that we have disrespected the PM. The Prime Minister has insulted Indian democracy in Parliament and we cannot accept what he has done,” he said. .
Meanwhile, Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday stepped up atack against Modi saying that he had lowered the dignity of his office by his “raincoat” jibe against Manmohan Singh in Parliament.
“The Prime Minister’s office is not an ordinary one. Great honour is associated with it. So by targeting his predecessor in that manner the Prime minister has lowered the dignity of his office,” Rahul said, addressing an election rally in Almora.
(With PTI inputs)