Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking in parliament over unrelenting opposition chants targeting him over the Adani Group, said the "lotus (BJP's symbol) will bloom no matter how much mud you throw at us".
"The conduct and tone of some members is disappointing for the entire country. I will tell such people - Jitna keechad uchhaloge, kamal utna hi khilega (the more mud you throw at us, the more the lotus will bloom). You all have an equal role in making the lotus bloom. We will thank the opposition," PM Modi said in Rajya Sabha.
Quoting a Hindi couplet, he said: "Keechad uske pas hai, mere pas gulal. Jo bhi jiske pas tha usne diya uchaal".
As soon as the Prime Minister started his speech, opposition members rushed to the centre of the house and loudly demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee investigation into allegations against billionaire Gautam Adani's conglomerate, which is in the spotlight after US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research alleged stock manipulation and accounting fraud by the group.
PM Modi continued his statement, undeterred by the "probe Adani" chants, and drew a comparison between the performance of his government and that of the previous Congress dispensations.
"Congress created hurdles in development, India lost six decades while smaller countries progressed. Congress only engaged in 'tokenism', never tried to find permanent solutions to problems confronting country. We are moving ahead with permanent solutions," the PM said.
The Congress, he said, "continues with its conspiracies" despite being rejected by voters.
The Congress and other opposition parties have accused PM Modi of enabling Gautam Adani's rise and helping Adani group companies across sectors. Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders said the Prime Minister had skirted allegations of crony capitalism in his speech in Lok Sabha.
Rahul Gandhi questioned why parts of his speech in Lok Sabha on the PM and Adani were deleted. Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge also raised a similar complaint after parts of his speech yesterday in Rajya Sabha were expunged.
The Adani Group has called the Hindenburg allegations a "malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India's highest courts".
The group, with significant investment from state-run firms like Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBI), has lost half its market value in a stock rout.
(Disclaimer: New Delhi Television is a subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited, an Adani Group Company.)