In an apparent reference to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's attack on the Congress as "termites" and him as a "night watchman" at the latter's National Council meeting here last week, he said the party hurled the "choicest abuses" against the Congress leadership. He made it clear he would not reply in "that language".
Winding up the discussion on the motion of thanks on the President's Address, Singh spoke at length on various issues, including the economy, keeping India's options open on the US resolution against Sri Lankan at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees vote, ties with Pakistan and the situation in Maldives.
He expressed confidence that the economyic slowdown would not persist and the country would return to the growth rate of seven-eight per cent in the next two years. And, told the BJP: "Our performance is the best judge."
Employing Urdu and Hindi couplets and proverb deftly, the usually soft-spoken Singh took shots at senior BJP leader L K Advani, saying the party lost the 2004 polls after its "India Shining" campaign and faced defeat again in 2009 when they pitted the "iron man" against the "lamb that Manmohan Singh is".
"I am confident the people will again elect us in the next elections, based on our performance," the prime minister said amid repeated thumping of desks by the treasury benches.
"Jo garajte hain, woh baraste nahi (Thunderous clouds do not bring showers)," he said taking a dig at the BJP's use of strong words of criticism.