Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was at his acerbic best in the Lok Sabha today as he took on the BJP veteran LK Advani to demolish the opposition attack on him in the cash-for-votes scam.
Singh also sought to floor Sushma Swaraj through a couplet in a tit-for-tat after the leader of the opposition recited Ghalib's composition to send home the message that it was time for the prime minister to take responsibility.
Amid thumping of desks, the prime minister smilingly but devastatingly said that Advani has not forgiven him for becoming the prime minister.
"The main opposition party, right from the year 2004, has adopted the attitude that we are a usurper. Advaniji believes that being Prime Minister was his birth right and therefore, he has never forgiven me," Singh said leaving the treasury benches in splits.
"All I can say to Advaniji is that people of India have voted us to power in free and fair elections. Please wait for another three-and-a-half years," he said.
Singh's uncharacteristic remarks also drew a broad smile from Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The prime minister chose to use the delicate Urdu couplet of Iqbal to reply to Swaraj's criticism of his leadership.
"Mana ki tere deed ke kaabil nahi hoon main, tu mera shauk dekh, mera intezar dekh (I admit that I am not worth your attention but appreciate my interest and my patience)," Singh said leaving Swaraj without any defence.
He was responding to Swaraj's Urdu couplet - "Na idhar udhar ki tu baat kar, ye bata ki kaafila kyun luta. Hamein rahjano se gila nahi, teri rahbari ka sawal hai (don't talk about this and that, tell us why the caravan was looted. We have no complaint with the passersby, it is a question of your leadership)".