New Delhi: The Prime Minister's attack on the Opposition on the failure of MNREGA scheme on Friday did not go down well with the Congress which hit back saying Gujarat remained a poor state even when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister.
As soon as Modi ended his reply in Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, Leader of Congress in the Lower House Mallikarjun Kharge said while there was no doubt that the Prime Minister delivered a good speech, "words do not help fill empty stomach."
He said Modi knew the art of speaking and was an expert in public speech, but his description of MNREGA was not the right way to attack the Opposition. The rural job guarantee scheme was created "for the poor, to benefit the poor", Kharge said.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reminded Kharge that he can seek one clarification from the Prime Minister but not "deliver a speech".
Kharge, by way of seeking a clarification, wanted to know how Gujarat remained "poor" when Modi was ruling the state.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav wanted to know whether Modi would extend a loan waiver for the farmers.
After a brief uproar, the House passed the Motion by a voice vote.
At least ten amendments to the President's Address were negatived by voice vote. An amendment moved by Saugata Roy (TMC) relating to incidents of communal disturbances fell through, after a division. While 61 of the members supported the amendment, 203 opposed it. There were four abstentions.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was seen explaining to Mulayam Singh about the voting process, while Home Minister Rajnath Singh was seen explaining the same to the Prime Minister.
"You may say that I do not have wisdom in some areas. But at least I do have some political wisdom...How can I shut down this scheme? ... MNREGA is a living example of your failures," Modi had earlier said, taking a dig at Congress.