Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury on Friday criticised the Prime Minister, terming his Parliamentary statement made on the situation of the economy as 'unfortunate', and added that Dr. Manmohan Singh should have used the opportunity to connect with and give confidence to the people of India during the present economic slump.
"It is unfortunate because this was the occasion for the Prime Minister, through the Parliament, could tell the country 'to give them confidence' as to how this crisis would be overcome, what they are planning to do," Yechury said.
The CPI(M) leader also said that the back and forth in Parliament --between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Congress --contributed to sidestepping the real economic issue at hand.
"It's very unfortunate that the whole debate has been diverted between the Congress and the BJP. In the bargain, the basic questions that all of us raised on the gravity of the economy has just got shelved," Yechury said.
After the Prime Minister made his statement in the Lok Sabha, the BJP immediately criticised Dr. Manmohan Singh, saying that his speech had no content and that his behavior of walking off from the House was severely offensive to the Opposition.
?"I want to strongly reiterate, again, that the problem that the nation faces today is the problem of trust. That credibility gap is not going to be bridged by this statement," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.
Sinha said the Opposition wanted a structured Parliamentary debate on the economic situation in the country, but Manmohan Singh blatantly walked off immediately after his speech.
"After giving a disappointing statement on the economy, the Prime Minister left immediately. He did not even have the courtesy to listen to the Opposition leader. The Leader of Opposition probably just wanted to say that there should be a structured Parliamentary discussion on the matter. However, the Prime Minister walked off like we-the people sitting in Parliament-are all incompetent and useless individuals sitting in the Lok Sabha," Sinha said.
"We believe that he has disrespected the Parliament and the Opposition in the way he walked off, which is why Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj got up and said that the behaviour of the Prime Minister is extremely offensive to us-in protest, we will boycott the Parliament," he added.
Terming the statement as 'frustrating', Sinha said that the Prime Minister's speech had no content.
"I want to make clear that there was absolutely no content in the speech of the Prime Minister. He simply used words, which had no meaning. He did not bring forth anything new. The country has been let down with his speech as the people cannot see any beacon of hope, after the Prime Minister's statement," he said.
Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, in an unprecedented attack on the BJP-led opposition for disrupting the Parliamentary proceedings, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday exchanged aggressive remarks with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, and said that he commands a certain respect despite what the members say.
"Have you heard of any country where MPs shout and walk to the well of the House and say 'Prime Minister chor hai' (the PM is a thief). Despite what some members may say, I do command a certain respect in the council of ministers," he told the Rajya Sabha.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, responded sharply, and said: "Have you heard of any democracy where PM won a vote of confidence by buying members of Parliament""
Dr. Singh, earlier in the day, said that the Central Government is taking steps to reduce current account deficit and added that growth will improve in the second half of fiscal year.
"There are concerns and justifiably so on how rupee fall will impact economy, the movement of the rupee recently is a matter of concern to the government," Dr. Singh told the Lok Sabha while making a statement on the current economic situation.