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Peace in Rajya Sabha after government climbdown

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New Delhi: 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 former Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar at his residence in honour of former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri at which the Pakistan High Commissioner was also present.

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 saying the Congress disapproves of any attempt to bring down the dignity of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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 showcause notice and asked him to apologize.

IANS

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