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'Scam to Skill India' remark rocks Rajya Sabha, BJP defends PM

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, April 28: The Rajya Sabha witnessed a ruckus on Tuesday over comments by Prime Minister rendra Modi during his recent three-tion tour. The house saw members from both treasury and opposition benches raise the pitch, necessitating three adjournments in the pre-lunch session. Raising the issue soon after the house met, Congress leader And Sharma said the comments made by the prime minister were an insult to the tion. Sharma was supported by the entire opposition. “PM said some things which need clarification... All prime ministers have maintained a tradition... when they go out they go as the prime minister of the tion. Opposition also follows a tradition. When the prime minister is out of the tion, the opposition does not criticise him,” Sharma said.

“In Cada he said India was ‘scam India’... India cannot be a scam. There can be some mistake but country cannot be scam. He said it is dirt of 60 years he is responsible for cleaning. He reduced dignity of his post and he has insulted every previous PM,” said Sharma who had also given notice for suspension of the house business for a discussion on the issue. “He goes out of the country as the PM of India, not as a BJP leader,” said Sharma, even as ruling party members protested. Sharma was joined by Jata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, Trimool Congress leader Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Tapan Kumar Sen who all objected to the language used by the prime minister during his recent foreign tours.

Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, however, said that if the comments of the prime minister are discussed, the scams too will have to be discussed. “PM makes a statement — we are trying to clean up decision-making process — I understand Congress is upset with cleaning up,” Jaitley said. “If we discuss it, all scams that happened in the last 60 years will be discussed,” he said.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien then disallowed the notice for discussion, after which Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium.

The house was first adjourned till noon, then for 15 minutes, and filly till 2 p.m. Defending the prime minister outside the house later, Jaitley said there was nothing wrong in discussing corruption anywhere in the world.

Speaking to reporters, Jaitley said there was nothing wrong in the prime minister discussing the issue of corruption with the Indian diaspora. “Corruption is not crime but discussion is,” the minister wondered, adding that it was “strange” on the part of the Congress to raise objection to Modi commenting in Toronto that the present government was taking the country from “scam to skill India”. Sharma, later talking to reporters in the parliament house complex, reiterated that Modi’s comment was “anti-India” and said: “He must apologise for whatever he had said.” Modi, during his visit to Cada, had attacked the previous Congress-led UPA government at a gathering of Indians in Toronto as he promised to clean up the “mess left behind” and change India’s image from one of “scams” to that of a “skilled” India. “Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh gandagi kar ke chaley gaye, par hum safai karenge (Those who had to create a mess, they have done so and left. We will clean it up),” Modi had said in Toronto. (IANS)

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