After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's aggressive stance in Rajya Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday said he looked for "alibis' in his speech on the state of the economy and his words reflected "pessimism and negativism".
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who had led a walkout expressing dissatisfaction with the prime minister's statement, said on Twitter, "The rupee has lost its value. The prime minister has lost his grace."
The prime minister, who is often accused by the opposition of not speaking on issues, attacked the BJP, accusing it of hampering growth and hurting investor sentiment by repeatedly disrupting Parliament. The BJP launched a counter-attack on Dr Singh outside the House.
"The prime minister spoke today. He hardly ever speaks. Normally he speaks at 40,000 ft to reporters while returning from a foreign trip or at Rashtrapati Bhawan on the sidelines of some programme. Otherwise, he reads out written statements," Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.
He maintained that this makes it difficult to know what is passing through the prime minister's mind. However, when he spoke in Parliament today (Friday), he failed to evoke any confidence, he said.
"We felt that the prime minister's statement today about the economy was full of pessimism, negativism and bitterness," Prasad said. "Can such a bitter prime minister having such negative instincts give hope, faith and confidence?" he wondered.
The BJP said it was hopeful the economist prime minister will understand the symptoms of the disease affecting the economy, diagnose it and provide the right treatment but he had looked for alibis. "There is a term professor emeritus for a highly qualified, able professor. With all due respect, we want to say the prime minister is alibi emeritus," Prasad said.