Cong accepts Jaitley’s clarification on PM’s behalf
More than a week-long impasse in the Parliament on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's insinuating remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh finally ended on Wednesday with Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley clarifying that the PM Modi in his speeches "neither questioned nor meant to question the commitment to this nation of either Dr Manmohan Singh, or Hamid Ansari."
The breakthrough came after the BJP relented to Congress' demand in a backdoor meeting between Jaitley and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. Congress, too, agreed that it would accept the clarification by Jaitley on behalf of the PM Modi.
The Rajya Sabha met at 2 pm after getting adjourned twice in the pre-lunch session on the issue of minister of state for skill development Ananth Kumar Hegde's alleged remarks against the Constitution.
Azad said there was no question of party succumbing to any pressure and decided to accept the clarification from Jaitley on behalf of the PM because it did not want the impasse to continue as they wanted to pin the government on several issues.
Referring to the removal of bindi, mangalsutra and changing of clothes of Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and wife at the behest of Pakistani authorities an insult to 1.3 billion Indians, Azad said, "As Indians we strongly protest and want to show our displeasure on the floor of the House."
As per the understanding the clarification was to happen right in the morning with the start of proceedings but the House got disrupted with other opposition parties demanding discussion on Minister of State for Skill Development, Ananth Kumar Hegde's controversial remarks against the Constitution. Not to lose out, Congress too entered the arena demanding resignation of Hegde both as minister and MP.
"If he does not believe in the Indian Constitution, he has no right to be a Member of Parliament or Minister," Azad said.
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray of TMC asked Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to give ruling if "a person, holding the post of Minister, has right to denounce Preamble in public and can he continue as a minister in the Government?"