Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament House, the prime minister, who is known for quoting poetry in his speeches with a special liking for 18th century poet Mirza Ghalib, said, “Hazaaron jawabon se achchhi hai meri khamoshi, na jaane kitne sawaalon ki aabru rakhe.

PM Manmohan Singh

(My silence is better than a thousand answers. If I start answering then it will throw up several more questions which will beg answers).” He added that in view of the BJP’s “motivated attack, this is one occasion I should be given to defend myself”.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, in a rejoinder later, said there would have been “so many teekhe (pointed) questions” that the prime minister would have been robbed of his “aabru” (honour).

In March last year, the prime minister and the BJP leader had had a verse exchange in Parliament during a debate on the US diplomatic cables revelations on the cash-votes-scam by WikiLeaks.