New Delhi: The BJP on Friday ruled out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology over the issue of the attack on his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat election campaign even as Modi asked the party MPs and NDA allies to aggressively counter any opposition onslaught on the government during the winter session of Parliament.
After a meeting of BJP and NDA leaders attended by the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, “The question of PM’s apology does not arise. In fact, they should apologise for meeting with Pakistani leaders. We are ready to answer every issue raised by the opposition.”
The Prime Minister also observed that the bill on triple talaq, cleared by the union cabinet, is revolutionary and should be publicised on a large scale.
Kumar’s remarks came in the wake of the Congress stalling the first day of the winter session of parliament in the Rajya Sabha and forcing its adjournment repeatedly while raking up the issue of Modi accusing Singh and others of conspiring with Pakistan to defeat the BJP in the Gujarat elections.
“This is not an ordinary allegation. Questions have been raised over the integrity of a former Prime Minister, former Vice President and several retired diplomats,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said as he demanded a discussion on the issue.
Modi had claimed that during a meeting at 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.
As the Congress indicated that it is going to be aggressive on the issue in the coming days in parliament, the Prime Minister asked the BJP and its allies to counter the opposition’s onslaught aggressively.
“Whoever makes baseless allegations on treasury benches… no need to remain seated peacefully…counter them aggressively,” a source quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a meeting of NDA leaders at Parliament House here.
According to sources the Prime Minister also urged the NDA allies to support the Bills listed for passage in the session, saying, “These Bills are associated with common men’s interest.”
The NDA meeting was preceded by a meeting of the BJP parliamentary party executive committee which discussed the strategy to counter the opposition.
Sources said the Prime Minister asked the senior leaders to ensure 100 per cent attendance of the members for the entire session.
In the monsoon session, the Modi government faced embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha as many BJP MPs were missing when a crucial bill seeking to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes came up for amendment. The government is keen to get the bill passed.
BJP President Amit Shah, who made his debut in the Rajya Sabha, was welcomed by the BJP leaders.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior ministers and leaders are members of the committee.
After Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, the BJP formed the first-of-its kind Parliamentary Party Executive Committee.