Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday tore into the government’s defence during her reply to the motion she had moved on Tuesday, seeking withdrawal of the decision to allow 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
First on her radar was telecom minister Kapil Sibal about whom Swaraj said that his speech was a bundle of contradictions. "Sibal spoke the truth when he had voters of his Chandni Chowk on his mind. But the moment he saw his two top leaders in the front benches, he started contradicting himself on the FDI policy," she said.
Next, she took on Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Hooda. "I heard with love and affection because he belongs to my state, but why did he get so agitated that he promised 24-inch potatoes to McDonalds…He said he is the son of a farmer. Had that been the case, he should have known the difference between bitter gourd (louki).”
She dismissed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad's attack on her party as "non-serious" which did not merit a response. "Aapko gaanth kholna nahi aata, aur maskari ke alawa kuch bolna nahi aata (you don't know how to untie a knot, so you indulge in absurdity)," she said.
In a back-handed compliment to commerce minister Anand Sharma, Swaraj said that he spoke with seriousness but since his speech was not based on facts, he failed to impress.
Seeking to highlight the internal dissensions within the Congress on the FDI issue, Swaraj referred to her private conversation with minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor, who represents a Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, where the Congress-led UDF government has opposed the Centre's decision.
Swaraj concluded her speech with a couplet — “Tareekh ki nazron ne voh daur bhi dekha hai. Lamhon ne khata ki thi sadiyon ne saza payi (History is witness to such situations when momentary mistakes have punished generations)".