New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and outgoing Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh today indulged in a light hearted banter and used cricket to take on each other.
The first to bowl was Mr Ramesh, who called Mr Jaitley a “master spinner of facts”.
Calling Mr Jaitley and him “sparring partners”, Mr Ramesh, who was giving his farewell speech in the Rajya Sabha, said people have been taught to spin khadi by Mahatma Gandhi but Leader of House “spins facts”.
“He is a master spinner of facts. And all I can say is that he combines in him, guile of Bailey, the flight of Prasanna, the length of Venkataraghavan and the shooters of Chandrashekhar. There has been very little spinners like him,” he said advising Mr Jaitley that “at some point of time, stop spinning and start governing”.
Talking about his farewell to the House, Mr Ramesh quoted cricketer Vijay Merchant and said when he was asked why he had announced his retirement after playing a good innings, the batsman replied replied, “it is better to go when people ask why is he going rather than why isn’t he going”.
Mr Jaitley in his address referred to the relationship he had with Mr Ramesh and said the “love” between them is old.
He said both smiled at each other even before entering the Parliament.
“I want to correct him for the last time. It (retirement quotes) was said by Sunil Gavaskar and not Vijay Merchant,” he said as Mr Ramesh chipped in and shouted, “this is also a spin”.
A smiling Mr Jaitley said, “It was Sunil Gavaskar. He played a wonderful innings but suddenly announced his retirement. People asked why? He replied saying you must retire when people say why and not when why not. But I think you have a long innings to play”.
Hoping that Mr Ramesh will be back in Parliament, the Finance Minister said the Congress leader has seen a lot of evolution.
“I knew you when you were an economic liberal. And I have seen your transformation to an economic conservative. And I think whatever be your viewpoint, the country probably, and his party needs it and I am sure they will put his services to the best of use,” Mr Jaitley said.