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Day 1 | 2

1 Manmohan Singh
I acted only in national interest: PM
The PM invoked Guru Gobind Singh and recited a verse showing his determination to go ahead with the N-deal.

Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Called for the vote, as he had to, but otherwise, largely tame. Just said judge us on performance, and left it at that.


3 Pranab Mukherjee
UPA has support of 276 MPs: Pranab
He sought to allay fears on account of the Hyde Act, saying it had no reflection in the 123 agreement.

Prem Panicker rates the speech:
I'd give him 8/10. He was quick to spot the Advani errors and nail them to maximum impact. He hit on the central point of this debate: the opposition's argument that nuclear will not solve India's energy needs -- and answered with facts and figures that make a strong case. And in the manner of a skilled debater, he rounded off on a high, riling both the Left and the BJP with neat thrusts. If he loses points, it is for the three or four moments when, in the midst of making key points, he fumbled around for the papers and for facts and figures, thus diluting the impact of what came before.


5 Professor Ram Gopal Yadav, SP MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Meanwhile, the speaker of the moment, Prof Ram Gopal Yadav, started out quite nicely, but seems to have since lost the plot. He may have managed to rile the Left and now the BSP, but as far as making telling points is concerned, he began and ended with the fact that the UPA managed to get a good agreement with the IAEA without signing the two major non prolif protocols: a point he made early on, and hasn't improved since.


7 Anant Geete, Shiv Sena MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
5/10. Easy style, able to handle interruptios humorously, and stayed relatively focussed. One huge error, though: He made a challenge that he cannot live up to. He said farmers are not being given loans, not a single one, and if he is proved wrong he will quit. All it takes is to produce one farmer, to force his hand and have him backing off. In fact, he recognised his own folly, and said he was only saying what Rahul Gandhi hd said in Vidharbha, but in his own words. Good try, but couldn't save the own goal.


9 Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
3/10. The cardinal mistake of writing a speech loaded with cliches but little else, and then reading them oiut in a deliberate, almost schoolboyish manner. Classic example: "The Left has deserted after running with the hare and hunting with the hounds". Which meant as little as the rest of his speech.


11 Anand Sharma, Congress MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
6/10 Started off slow, took his time to build to the point, but once he got there, repeatedly slipped the shiv between the ribs of the BJP and the Left. Cited stats, but just enough so the numbers weren't lost, rebutted Advani's claims of strength by quoting from Advani's own book on the events after the Kandahar hijack. Overall a more than decent performance for the UPA, marred by its excessive length. He could have, like a Bollywood movie, ended some 15 minutes before he actually did, and been more effective.


13 Praful Patel of the NCP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Praful Patel: 6/10: The most notable part of his speech, outside of taking the moral high ground and lamenting how the debate was downgraded, is that he appears to have come up with a talking point for the UPA: he kept saying that when Parliament questioned the integrity of the PM, it was a bad signal to send out to the international community. The question of whether the PM's patriotism can be questioned in such a forum will clearly be hammered with increasing vehemence in what is left of this debate, till the vote tomorrow.


15 Akali Dal's Sukhdev Singh Libra
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Sukhdev Singh: 2/10. If I could give less, I would. The entire speech was predicated on the premise that the PM did nothing for the Sikhs, so the PM does not deserve the Akali vote. Point is, this is a vote of confidence in the Union Council of Ministers. And that in any case, you dont rate a PM on the basis of what he can do for your community.


2 L K Advani
N-deal an agreement between 2 individuals: Advani
"UPA is like a patient in the ICU room. The first question everyone asks is whether he is going to survive or not," Advani said.

Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Started off in style, but then made a few key errors. In debate it is fatal to give the opponent free points, and Advani did that when he spoke of Nehru not signing a treaty that was not even in existence at the time of his death. Again, when he went onto the moral high ground with that bit about defeat versus destablise, he opened himself up for the inevitable reminder that the BJP had jerked the rug out from under the VP Singh government, clearly a destabilising exercise. I also reckoned he needed to lose points for making the last part of his speech a party political, instead of hammering the nails in hard. 6, maybe 7 on 10 would be about right.


4 Mohammed Saleem, CPI-M MP
Govt worried about 123 Act, not 12.3 pc inflation: Left
"The performance of the government becomes fast when it comes to the nuclear deal," CPI-M leader Mohammed Salim said.

Prem Panicker rates the speech:
4/10, and that is being extraordinarily generous. Spoke at tedious length, but rambled all over the place. When it was pointed out that his clock had run out, he spoke for another 18 minutes -- and for every minute of that time, repeated what he had said before. To bore the audience to tears is a cardinal sin in debates, and Saleem accomplished just that with his endless peroration.


6 Devendra Yadav: RJD, MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
3/10. Long, rambling, loud, and circular. Like incompetent speakers do, he uses volume instead of fact, repeats himself endlessly, and speaks long beyond the point of no return.


8 T R Baalu, DMK MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
3/10. Comes from a party known for oratory, and let it down badly. Spent most of his time reeling off numbers that you cannot recall an instant later, which defeats the purpose, but couldn't put a human face to any of those numbers, merely droned on and on. And his attempt to pay repeated obeisance to Sonia Gandhi and, on two occasions, to Rahul Gandhi, felt duh!


10 Brajesh Pathak, BSP MP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
3/10, he was given a mike to speak to his colleagues, but seemed to be pitching his voice for his leader back in Lucknow. The deputy speaker repeatedly told him everyone could hear him, but he yelled away anyway -- and committed the additional solecism of getting all worked up about how the CBI has been let loose on his leader Mayawati -- which as he should have known might make his leader happy, but is not remotely close to the point of these proceedings.


12 Shahnawaz Hussain of the BJP
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Full marks for theatre. Not much new in substance, but the man is a practised demagogue and this was a mid-season performance.


14 Prabhunath Singh of JD-U
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Prabhunath Singh: 3/10. Rabble rousing, and little of substance. Trouble being, this is a parliamentary debate, not a campaign speech on the stump -- rabble rousing is precisely the one thing that should have been a no no. His repeated harping on how the Congress itself has no faith in the PM is typical -- front bench fodder when you are trying to whip the crowds up, but here, merely intended to create noise and uproar.


16 Gurudas Dasgupta of CPI: 5/10
Prem Panicker rates the speech:
Good speech in terms of language, Parliamentary quality and such. You would wish though that since he was representing the CPI, he had talked of the promises supposedly made, the workings of the Left-UPA committee, and why the Left feels "betrayed". Betrayal was a constant in his speech -- but not an itemised list of the reasons why, which seems to be a wasted opportunity.


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