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Rediff.com  » News » Wait for 3 years to be PM: Dr Singh to Advani

Wait for 3 years to be PM: Dr Singh to Advani

Last updated on: March 23, 2011 20:44 IST

Wait for 3 years to be PM: Dr Singh to Advani

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was at his acerbic best in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday as he took on Bharatiya Janata Party veteran L K Advani to demolish the Opposition's attack on him over the cash-for-votes scam.

Dr Singh also sought to floor Sushma Swaraj through a couplet in a tit-for-tat after the Leader of the Opposition recited Ghalib's composition to send home the message that it was time for the prime minister to take responsibility.

Amid thumping of desks, Dr Singh smilingly but devastatingly said that Advani has not forgiven him for becoming the prime minister.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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'Advani has never forgiven me'

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"The main opposition party, right from the year 2004, has adopted the attitude that we are a usurper. Advaniji believes that being prime minister was his birth right and therefore, he has never forgiven me," Dr Singh said, leaving the Treasury benches in splits.

"All I can say to Advaniji is that people of India have voted us to power in free and fair elections. Please wait for another three-and-a-half years," he said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were seen smiling as was Advani himself.

The prime minister chose to use the delicate Urdu couplet of Iqbal to reply to Swaraj's criticism of his leadership.

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Image: BJP leader L K Advani

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'Tu mera shauk dekh, mera intezar dekh'

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"Mana ki tere deed ke kaabil nahi hoon main, tu mera shauk dekh, mera intezar dekh (I admit that I am not worth your attention but appreciate my interest and my patience)," Dr Singh said.

He was responding to Swaraj's Urdu couplet -- "Na idhar udhar ki tu baat kar, ye bata ki kaafila kyun luta. Hamein rahjano se gila nahi, teri rahbari ka sawal hai (don't talk about this and that, tell us why the caravan was looted. We have no complaint with the passers-by, it is a question of your leadership)".

Refusing to yield to the Opposition onslaught on the 'cash-for-votes' scam, the PM decried the hue and cry over the 'wild' charges of bribery during the 2008 Trust Vote and warned that believing a diplomatic communication was 'dangerous'.

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Image: Video grab shows Opposition MPs waving currency notes in the Lok Sabha during the trust vote

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Dr Singh hits back at Opposition

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He adopted a combative approach to the Opposition's attack and demands that he should quit in the wake of resurfacing of charges that Members of Parliament were purchased to save the United Progressive Alliance government in 2008.

Dr Singh insisted that nobody from the Congress or the UPA government was involved or had "authorised" anybody to engage in "transactions" like purchasing MPs during the Trust Vote and raised questions over the authenticity of the correspondence between the United States Embassy in Delhi and its government in Washington.

Replying to a debate in both Houses of Parliament over his statement on the WikiLeaks documents, Dr Singh said the government could not verify the authenticity of the correspondence.

Speaking on the issue in Parliament for the second time since March 18, he warned that believing a communication sent by some official in an embassy was a "dangerous thought".

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Image: A file photo of Dr Singh with Congress president Sonia Gandhi

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'Wild allegations levelled by Opposition'

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To press the point that the bribery charges were wrong, Dr Singh referred to the probe by a Parliamentary Committee in 2008 and said it had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that MPs were purchased.

"I am convinced that taking the report as a whole, this is a correct inference. I leave it to the good sense of this House to decide for itself whether the report of the committee in any way substantiates the wild allegations levelled by some honourable members of the Opposition," Dr Singh said amid thumping of desks.

Referring to the Opposition's attack on him, he said, "This is not the first time that I have faced in my Parliamentary career the Opposition onslaught of the type we have witnessed of late. I have had to go through that as the finance minister and as the prime minister."

After Dr Singh's reply in the Lok Sabha, the National Democratic Alliance staged a walk-out, apparently dissatisfied with his reply.


Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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