After the first week of Parliament winter session was washed out over Opposition protests against PM Modi’s remarks during the Gujarat election campaign, the Congress and BJP ended their feud and reached a truce.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley, speaking in the Rajya Sabha, clarified that the prime minister “did not question, nor meant to question” the commitment of former PM Manmohan Singh and former vice president Hamid Ansari to the nation.
“PM in his speeches didn’t question, nor did he mean to question the commitment to this nation of either former PM Manmohan Singh or Former VP Hamid Ansari, any such perception is erroneous, we hold these leaders in high esteem, as well as their commitment to India,” Jaitley said.
Welcoming the statement by Jaitley, the Congress party has dissociated itself from Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech” remark against PM Modi.
“Thank leader of the house for clarification on what has been issue of contention. I, on behalf of my party, say that we disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity, also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Earlier efforts to reconcile differences between the BJP and Congress did not yield any results as the latter stuck to its stand and demanded PM Modi to clarify his remarks in Parliament.
During BJP’s Gujarat election campaign, PM Modi, alleging Pakistan interference in the polls, claimed that Manmohan Singh and Ansari had “secretly” met former Pakistani officials at Aiyar’s residence in New Delhi. Slamming PM Modi, Singh had accused him of spreading “falsehoods” and canards” and setting a dangerous precedent by his “insatiable desire” to “tarnish” every Constitutional office.
The former Prime Minister asked him to “show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds” and apologise for his “ill thought transgression” to restore the dignity of the office he occupies.
The current stalement between the government and Opposition doesn’t appear to end anytime soon, however, as today’s proceedings were marred by protests over MoS Anantkumar Hegde’s Constitution remark.