Oppn may settle for Modi's clarification on Pak remarks against Manmohan

Oppn may settle for Modi's clarification on Pak remarks against Manmohan

In the midst of the standoff with the government over objectionable remarks against former prime minister Manmohan Singh, the Opposition may drop its demand for an apology by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and insist on a "clarification" in Parliament.

The indication of a climb-down came after a meeting of Opposition leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and junior ministers Vijay Goel and Arjun Ram Meghwal.

The Opposition had stalled proceedings in both the houses of Parliament insisting on an apology by Modi for casting aspersions on Singh, former vice president Hamid Ansari and former Army chief Deepak Kapoor accusing them of hatching a conspiracy with Pakistan to defeat the BJP in Gujarat elections.

Last week, the former prime minister had met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and is learned to have voiced strong disapproval over Modi's remarks on the campaign trail.

In a bid to end the impasse in Parliament, Naidu suggested a meeting between Opposition leaders and the government to find an amicable solution.

"We have given our proposition to the government and are waiting for their response. .. It was clear to us that the government interlocutors will talk to the prime minister and revert," Sharma told reporters here when asked about the meeting.

He reiterated the demand for a clarification by the prime minister and expression of regret on the floor of the House.

"What we are asking is justified and fair," Sharma said terming Modi's claims of conspiracy as an "uncalled for transgression".

Parliament sources said the Congress may insist on a clarification by the Prime Minister and may drop the demand for an apology.

"Given the prime minister's approach, we are unsure whether he would be ready for even a clarification," an Opposition leader said.

Singh had asked Modi to apologise to the nation for claiming that Singh was conspiring with Pakistan for BJP's defeat in the Gujarat polls.

The former prime minister had rejected Modi's claims at an election rally as "innuendos and falsehoods" and said that he was deeply pained by the prime minister's "ill thought transgression".

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