New Delhi, Dec 27: The government and the Opposition reached a truce on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha over Narendra Modi’s attack against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat polls with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying the Prime Minister didn’t question Singh’s commitment to the nation.
Following Jaitley’s statement, the Congress also reciprocated by disapproving Mani Shankar Aiyar’s criticism of the Prime Minister after which the House resumed normal business.
“The statement (by Modi) did not question nor did he mean to question the commitment of Manmohan Singh or Hamid Ansari, the former Vice President. Any such perception is completely erroneous. We hold these leaders in high esteem and their commitment to the nation,” said Jaitley, who is Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha that has been rocked over the Congress’ demand for an apology from the Prime Minister.
Modi had accused Manmohan Singh of conspiring with Pakistanis to defeat the BJP in the Gujarat election after the former Prime Minister and Ansari participated in a dinner hosted by now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar at his residence in Delhi, at his residence which was attended by Pakistan’s former foreign minister, and the country’s high commissioner to India.
Following Jaitley’s brief statement, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also read out from a prepared statement in which he distanced the Congress from Aiyar’s statement against 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”, Azad said.
Aiyar had during the Gujarat polls described Modi as a “person of low level”. The Prime Minister said the Congress leader had called him a low caste. The Congress subsequently suspended Aiyar and issued him a show cause notice and asked him to apologize.