Congress to boycott Prime Minister Modi in Parliament

Congress had yesterday taken strong exception to the 'raincoat' jibe and staged a walkout and demanded an apology from him. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 09, 2017, 05.37 PM (IST)

The Congress has said that it will boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament for the rest of the budget session. 

The party also said that it will try to rope in other opposition parties as well. 

"We will boycott the Prime Minister. We will not listen to him, but we will not assault the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister... He has demeaned his office repeatedly by his choice of words and language," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters.

Congress this morning held a strategy meet of opposition parties including JD(U), Left, DMK and Samajwadi Party over the issue.

Sharma claimed that the other parties too will join them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday mocked his predecessor Manmohan Singh while replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in Rajya Sabha, saying one should learn the art of "bathing with a raincoat on" from him as there was not a single taint on him despite so many scams taking place during his regime.

Congress had yesterday taken strong exception to the "raincoat" jibe and staged a walkout and demanded an apology from him. Congress also disrupted the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha today and protested in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress leader said the Prime Minister "is intolerant to criticism. He lives in denial. He is also arrogant. He has lowered the dignity of office repeatedly and has used language which is unacceptable in political debates".

"He has dragged the political debates to unacceptable depths. We have been urging the PM to desist from doing this. But, he relishes using foul languages and insulting the Opposition," he said.

"The Congress party consciously took this decision because we could not be sitting there as he was abusing our leaders, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh without any provocation from him, and insulted the memory of Indira Gandhi, who was martyred," he said.

Sharma said Modi violated the rules of business and ethics of the House and breached the privileges of members, as Manmohan Singh is a sitting member and the Prime Minister could not have said anything against him without informing him and bringing a substantive motion. This, he said, has been pointed out today.

"This must be understood. We know what BJP is saying that we have disrespected the PM. The Prime Minister has insulted Indian democracy in Parliament and we cannot accept what he has done," he said.