Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a savage dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in parliament, referring to the belated response of "tubelights", as he rebutted the opposition on its criticism of his government.
While replying to a debate on the President's speech, PM Modi made an apparent reference to the Congress MP's rally in Delhi and a comment he had reportedly made about "youth beating Modi with sticks over the lack of jobs".
As Rahul Gandhi rose to interject, the Prime Minister sneered: "I have been speaking for 30-40 minutes but it took this long for the current to reach. Bahut se tubelight aise hi hotey hai (many tubelights are like this)". Members of the ruling BJP burst into laughter and thumped their desk in delight.
While campaigning for the Delhi election, Rahul Gandhi had said at a public meeting: "You wait and see. Narendra Modi who is giving speeches now, he will not be able to get out of his home in six-seven months. The youth of India will beat him with sticks. They will make him understand that if you don't give jobs to our youth, India cannot go forward."
PM Modi delivered his response in the Lok Sabha and said he would prepare himself for the "beating" by doing more surya namaskars.
"In 70 years, no Congress leader has ever been self-sufficient. I heard one leader's manifesto - he said, we will beat Modi with a stick in six months. I can imagine that it is a difficult prospect (laughter in the house), so it will take six months to prepare. But even I will prepare in these six months and do more surya namaskar so that I am ready...the kind of abuses I have been subjected to in the past 20 years, I will make myself gaali-proof (abuse-proof) and also danda-proof (stick-proof)," the Prime Minister said.
"In a way, I am grateful that I have been given the advance notice."
Later, Rahul Gandhi was prodded by reporters to respond to the tubelight jibe but he didn't. He said: "The biggest problem before the country is unemployment and Modi-ji has nothing to say about that. PM's style is to distract India.
Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi this evening, responding to PM Modi's remarks, told NDTV that "I think the Congress and Rahul Gandhi have been used to for the last seven years to being trolled, abused, vilified, to be made fun of."