New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in Lok Sabha as "arrogant and revengeful" and said he lost a good opportunity to present his vision for the country, even as Rahul Gandhi hit back at him for "mocking" the Uttarakhand quake issue and "insulting" the freedom struggle.
Gandhi also said the Prime Minister, in his reply to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, did not answer opposition's questions on demonetisation.
The Congress vice president also took a dig at Modi over his "surgery" remarks on economy, saying "a quack endangers life".
"The Prime Minister mocks the tragedy of Uttarakhand and insults the freedom struggle but has no answers to the opposition's questions," he tweeted. Gandhi said this after the Prime Minister took a jibe at him in Parliament, saying "The earthquake has finally occurred" while referring to last night's tremors in Uttarakhand.
The Congress vice president had in December last said he possessed certain material against the Prime Minister, and if he spoke in Parliament, there would be an "earthquake".
Congress spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi said, "When PM expressed his sentiment, he mixed it with tint of humour and mockery. Many members of the house from various political
parties felt that PM has hurt the dignity of people of Uttarakhand who are still suffering in the aftermath of an earlier earthquake. They must have felt humiliated."
He also said, "PM used the opportunity merely for electoral purposes and obviously was concerned about the verdict of Punjab and Goa and of sweeping popularity that Congress-SP alliance is gaining in UP."
Gogoi said PM referred to the freedom struggle and mocked the contribution of many brave souls and citizens who contributed to it and lost their lives.
"PM should not use his office to malign the memories of those who contributed to the freedom struggle. Congress Party had expected far more accountability from PM's speech today," he said.
Targeting Modi, Congress leader Veerappa Moily said, "This was quite an arrogant and revengeful reply."
He said,"PM should have used this window of opportunity to present his vision, clarity and perspective for the country. Perhaps he has lost his life's opportunity or the NDA has lost this good opportunity to present what they stand for."
Gogoi said PM remained silent on Rahul Gandhi's questions on Modi's name figuring in documents seized by the Income Tax department during raids at the offices of Sahara and Birla groups.
"He should come clear on it, if he has nothing to hide. He should be aware that the office he represents is the highest office in the country. So, we felt here's the
opportunity that PM could have used to get the record clean but he chose otherwise," he said.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said good days do not come by just delivering a good speech. "By giving an achha bhashan (good speech), achhe din (good days) do not come. To bring good days, there is a need for work as well," he said.
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Updated Date: Feb 07, 2017 22:56:16 IST