Disruptions in Parliament over Modi's remarks against Manmohan

Disruptions in Parliament over Modi's remarks against Manmohan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat poll campaign disrupted Parliament's proceedings for the fourth day on Wednesday with the Opposition insisting on Modi's apology.

Modi was present in the Lok Sabha for the question hour, when the Opposition leaders stormed the House's well shouting slogans 'Doctor saab se maafi maango' (apologise to doctor saab).

Within minutes, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the proceedings till noon.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice, but passed two bills later, while the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day.

The Lok Sabha witnessed disruptions when it re-assembled at noon and the Congress boycotted the post-lunch session claiming that they were not allowed to raise issues in the House.

Rajya Sabha also witnessed similar protests and the truce attempted by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu proved to be short-lived and the Congress leaders were back in the Well demanding an  apology from the prime minister.

The opposition leaders were also incensed at Naidu's remarks ruling out an apology by the Prime Minister.

"Nobody is going to give an  apology. Nothing happened in the House. No statement is made in the House," Naidu said in the Rajya Sabha before adjourning the proceedings for the day.

On Tuesday, at Naidu's prodding, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad had held a meeting to find a solution to the deadlock.

Jaitley rejected outright, the Opposition's demand for an apology and offered a statement by either him or Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar expressing regret over Modi's remarks, which was not acceptable to the Opposition.

Later, speaking to the media, Azad said if the prime minister has reservations over an apology, he can tell the House that his remarks against Manmohan Singh were merely an "election stunt" to revive the flagging fortunes of the BJP in Gujarat.

However, the Congress appeared isolated on the issue as other Opposition parties appeared less enthusiastic to join the protests. "I don't know the reasons, but we are not getting the kind of support we expected," said Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

Congress members were also agitated as the Lok Sabha Speaker allowed BJP member Poonam Mahajan to raise an issue related to Kashmiri youth during which she mentioned Modi's remarks against Manmohan Singh.

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