Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI
New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks on former PM Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the Modi demeaned his position and himself more than anyone else.
"When a Prime Minister reduces himself to ridiculing his predecessor-years his senior, he hurts the dignity of the parliament and the nation," Gandhi tweeted on his official Twitter account.
"He demeans his position and himself more than anyone else. Today's events were saddening and frankly they were shameful," he added.
Modi on Wednesday launched a surprise attack on Mammohan Singh, saying that politicians should learn from Singh how to maintain a clean image even after 35 long years of public life dotted with scams under his stewardship.
Replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address to the two Houses of Parliament, Modi also chose to attack another former Prime Minister of the Congress -- Indira Gandhi.
Modi first cast aspersions on the scholarship of Manmohan Singh, a former RBI governor and an eminent economist, saying he (Modi) recently came across a book purportedly written by Singh, but found out that only the foreword was by "Doctor sahib" (Manmohan Singh).
"Looks like, even the speech Doctor Sahib delivered in the last session...," Modi said, just stopping short of saying anything further, but implying that Singh's speech lambasting the note ban was not his own.
The Prime Minister continued amid aloud protests by the Congress members: "For around 35 years, he (Manmohan) has had a say or a role in India's economic policy and decisions. In these 35 years, we heard of many a scam, but he has remained free of any blemish."
"There is a lot for us politicians to learn... so much happened he did not get even a taint. Only Doctor Sahab (Manmohan Singh) knows the art of bathing wearing a rain coat," he said in a jibe, resulting to a huge uproar from Congress benches.
The Congress MPs walked out at this point, though Manmohan Singh himself did not budge from his seat.
A few senior Congress members including P. Chidmabaram, A.K. Antony and Karan Singh asked the former Prime Minister to come along and walk out, which he did.