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Congress plans protest on Manmohan issue

PM's apology ruled out; Cong-BJP spar over Rahul's comments on Modi and Gujarat poll outcome

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Rahul is our darling; will carry forward Congress tradition: Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

The is set to protest the “insult” to former prime minister when Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the on Wednesday and the on Thursday. Senior government sources, however, ruled out an apology from the PM on the issue. Arun Jaitley, also the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, might make a statement that could meet the Congress’ demand halfway. But Jaitley might also remind the how several of its members have, over the years, called Modi names. Wednesday is when in the the question hour is reserved for questions on departments and portfolios under the PM, while the takes these questions on Thursday. Government sources were hopeful that Parliament would continue to transact business after both Houses functioned on Tuesday. During the election campaign, the PM had alleged a “conspiracy by Pakistan” to influence the state polls. He had also claimed the former PM, several former diplomats, former vice-president M Hamid Ansari and a former were part of a dinner hosted by now-suspended leader where this was discussed. On Tuesday, as the demanded that the PM come to the House to apologise for his comments, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urged the government and the Opposition to talk to each other. “My operation (of the House) depends on your cooperation,” Naidu said. Later, Jaitley and Ananth Kumar met the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Briefing the media, Sharma said a formulation has been suggested by the that the two ministers would take to the PM. Naidu said the former PM met him and conveyed his dismay at the comments made by Modi. Sharma said the PM, instead of expressing regret, repeated these comments during his victory speech at the after the results of the Assembly polls were announced on Monday. The poll led to a war of words between President and the BJP.

Speaking to journalists, termed the election results a “massive jolt” to the BJP. Senior BJP leader retorted that it was the chief’s “dynastic arrogance” talking and he was deluding himself by “enjoying defeat as victory”. Shiv Sena, an ally of the BJP, said the slim win of the BJP in was a “warning bell” to those who believed in an autocratic rule. The Sena, as well as Rahul Gandhi, also questioned the so-called model of development. Gandhi said it was "good propaganda and able marketing", but "hollow from within." "You saw the results and it has dealt a zabardast jhatka (a massive jolt) to the BJP in Gujarat," said. He said the result has put a question mark on Modi’s credibility. The chief said the PM, who earlier talked non-stop on corruption, has stopped talking about (Amit Shah’s son) or Rafale fighter jet deal, which the claimed was against the country’s interest and encouraged crony capitalism. Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s attack, senior BJP leader claimed the poll outcome had actually jolted the He said the tried to adopt divisive in However, people put their faith in Modi and in his development agenda, he said. "It seems Rahul is under an illusion and enjoying defeat as victory. This shows his dynastic arrogance and is an insult to the people’s mandate."

First Published: Wed, December 20 2017. 02:13 IST