New Delhi: Often at the receiving end of opposition's silence jibe, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday invoked an Urdu couplet to hit back at his critics.

"Hazaron jawabo se achchi hai khamoshi meri, na jaane kitne sawalo ki aabru rakhe. (My silence is better than a thousand answers, it keeps intact the honour of innumerable questions)," Singh said reciting the couplet, asserting this has been his "general attitude".

"It has been my general practice not to respond to motivated criticism directed personally at me," he added.

The Prime Minister's remarks came outside Parliament on a day he read out amid din in both the Houses his statement on the controversial coal block allocations.

But the Prime Minister's way of sending a message across on his silence did not convince BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Taking a jibe at the Prime Minister, Sushma said the questions were so pointed that he would have been embarrassed in answering them and that was why he chose to remain silent.

"Really the questions were so harsh and straightforward that by anwsering them he would have embarrassed himself and that's why you(prime minister) preferred to keep silent," she added.


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