Venkaiah Naidu questions opposition ‘agenda’ in refusing to accept Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s apology

Venkaiah Naidu said that many UPA leaders had made dirty comments and gone scot-free but a “poor woman’s” apology is not being accepted.

As the impasse continues between the government and opposition parties over the controversial remarks by Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, her Cabinet colleague Venkaiah Naidu said that many UPA leaders had made “dirty comments” and gone “scot-free” but a “poor woman’s” apology is not being accepted.

The row over Jyoti’s remarks has led to continued disruption of parliamentary proceedings and Naidu, the Parliamentary Affairs minister, charged that the opposition was not willing to accept the apologies of the “poor woman” who is “a first timer” who has been given an opportunity to become a minister.

“When she expressed regret, these people (opposition) were not ready to accept it. What is the agenda? They are worried, disturbed, because she has a strong social base. She has eaten into their votes, according to them, so they don’t want to leave the chance,” Naidu said.

He claimed that many senior leaders or Cabinet ministers in the previous Congress-led UPA government had made “dirty comments” against the social fabric of the country and the Constitution but had been allowed to go “scot-free.”

Hitting out at Congress, Naidu charged that the party is frustrated and isolated and hence does not want to drop the issue.

“You criticise and attack everybody, sometimes you try to cast aspersions even on the Speaker. That is unbecoming of a party like Congress, which claims it is a very senior and experienced political party.

“They are confused. They are misusing their so-called majority in Rajya Sabha. I assure them that it will not be the case in future,” Naidu said.
He said that those blocking discussions on crucial issues in Parliament are doing so at their own cost as the people of India are watching what is going on.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said that he had in the morning met leaders of various parties in the Rajya Sabha chairman’s room where they had demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a statement in the matter.

“They were shouting till yesterday that the Prime Minister is not to be seen. When the Prime Minister is there, they could not say anything. Prime Minister made a statement, then the Congress party Deputy leader expressed some opinion. They should allow it to end there,” Naidu said.

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First published on: 05-12-2014 at 08:42 IST