Advani praise for Pranab, with a dig | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Advani praise for Pranab, with a dig

delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2009 14:09 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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“Sometimes I think had Pranabji not been there what would happen to this government,” was how Leader of Opposition LK Advani praised External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

In his opening remarks during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, Advani said: “I have great admiration for his (Mukherjee’s) abilities and sometimes think what would the government have done without him.” Mukherjee —who is the acting finance minister and standing in for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is convalescing after a bypass surgery — acknowledged it with folded hands even as the House lauded the gesture with thumping of desks.

As several members, including Mukherjee, broke out into laughter, Advani added: “Whenever there is a crisis, he is there. Twenty-five years ago he presented the budget and did so again on Monday as it was a crisis situation.” However, no sooner it was all over, Advani launched an attack on the UPA government’s record, and also took a dig at Mukherjee’s budget speech, in which he had spoken of the ‘hand’ that can help the nation, alluding to the election symbol of Congress.