The government on Tuesday invited all the opposition parties to discuss a way out of the impasse in the Rajya Sabha over the allegations levelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his predecessor Manmohan Singh. The Congress, which has been demanding Modi’s apology over the remarks, agreed to the idea after Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu held an informal meeting with the treasury and opposition leaders to break the logjam. “We will find a solution. We will certainly invite all my colleagues, including the Leader of Opposition, and discuss the issue,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, said. Jaitley’s assurance came after Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue as soon as the Question Hour began after a smooth Zero Hour. “Levelling allegations during election campaign are not new but some are dangerous for the country and as well democracy. Such allegations have been levelled against a former Prime Minister, a former Vice President and others. His dignity and loyalty has been questioned. That is a big question. The Prime Minister should come to the House and make it clear. If anybody is found wrong, action should be taken,” Azad said.
Intervening, Chairman Naidu informed the House that he held an informal meeting of the leaders of the parties and discussed the issue to break the impasse. “In the interest of the House and to maintain its dignity, we discussed the issue to find a way out. I hope government will talk to opposition leaders and will find a solution,” Naidu said. He also said that Manmohan Singh met him personally and informed about the allegation made against him. After Jaitley’s remarks, the agitating Congress leaders went back to their seats and and Question Hour took place.
The Rajya Sabha on Monday saw disruption and repeated adjournments as the Congress demanded an apology from the Prime Minister on the issue. Modi, during the campaign for the Gujarat Assembly polls, had claimed that at a meeting in Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house, the guests including Manmohan Singh, discussed the Gujarat polls with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India and former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri.