The stalemate in parliament over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh and others at a poll rally in Gujarat ended on Wednesday, with the government saying the commitment of the former Prime Minister was not questioned.
The proceedings of both houses of parliament were repeatedly disrupted over the past week on the issue, with the Opposition demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister over his “conspiracy with Pak” remarks and seeking an apology.
In Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said the Prime Minister did not question his predecessor’s commitment to India.
When the Upper House reconvened at 2 PM after adjournment due to protests over Union Minister Ananthkumar Hegde’s controversial remarks on secularism and changing the Constitution, Arun Jaitley said the Prime Minister in his statements or speeches “did not question the commitment to this nation either by Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister, or Hamid Ansari, the former Vice President”.
“Any such perception is completely erroneous. We hold these leaders in high esteem, as also their commitment to this nation,” Jaitley said.
He said many statements had been made on all sides during the elections, and added that the government “does not want the stalemate as a result of this to continue”.
Responding to his statement, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “I want to thank the Leader of the House that he issued a clarification on the issue which was causing the deadlock for the last one week.”
Mr Azad sought to assure the government on behalf of the Congress that the party dissociates itself from any statement made against the personality of the Prime Minister, apparently in reference to those made by its MP Mani Shankar Aiyar.
“If during the elections (recent assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh), any member of our party gave such a statement that was against the stature of the Prime Minister, then our party dissociates itself from any such statement and we would not want any word to be said against the stature of the Prime Minister,” Azad said.
The Congress had suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar from its primary membership and slapped a show cause notice on him for calling Prime Minister Modi a “neech aadmi” or a lowly person.
After the two statemnents, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu thanked all members of the House for their cooperation in resolving the stalemate.
However, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal stood up to object, charging that the fate of the proceedings in the House could not be decided based on statements by only two people.
To this, Vice President Naidu said, “We discussed it in the morning in the business advisory committee. Every member of the House is important. Let us not sidetrack the issue”.