Venkaiah Naidu slams Congress leaders demanding apology from Prime Minister

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu angrily told protesting MPs today that “nobody is going to give (an) apology” for PM Narendra Modi’s comments allegations that his predecessor Manmohan Singh is colluding with Pakistan.

Naidu also told disruptive Congress MPs demanding an apology from PM Modi that the PM did not make his allegations in Parliament, which was why no apology was required.
“This is not the way. Nobody is going to give apology. Nothing happened in the House. The statement was not made here,” Naidu was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Modi had said at an election rally earlier this month that Singh and other Congress leaders has a “secret meeting” with Pakistani officials to discuss ways to defeat the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly polls. His allegations shocked several opposition leaders, not just those from the Congress. Singh, too, reacted in an uncharacteristicaly sharp manner, lashing out at PM Modi for spreading “falsehood and canards” to “score political points in a lost cause.”

Congress leaders and MPs are still furious. Earlier today, Congress MPs continued the protests they began on Day 1 of the Winter Session on Friday. They rushed into the Well of the House shouting and demanding Modi apologises for casting such grave aspersions on a former Prime Minister.

After repeatedly reminding members to maintain the decorum of the House, Naidu was forced to adjourn proceedings until noon. When the House convened again, the Opposition resumed its disruption on the apology issue. Naidu lost his cool again.
“This is Parliament. This is Rajya Sabha. There is no practice of suspension of Question Hour. Don’t make a mockery of the House. Wrong message is going,” he said, visibly agitated. He asked the MPs not to obstruct the Rajya Sabha’s work and said they must allow other members to raise important issues. His entreaties fell on deaf ears and he had to again adjourn the House, this time until 2 pm.

Chaotic scenes were also witnessed in the Lok Sabha, where Congress members raised slogans of “Dr Sahab se maafi maango (Apologize to Dr Singh)”, all while PM Modi was present in the House.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House, first till 12 pm and then again till 2 pm, as Congress leaders continued to create a ruckus.

(originally published in TOI)