The Gujarat Assembly election 2017 results are out. The bruising Bharatiya Janata Party vs Congress battle has ended with the victory of the former. The latter, however, looks to be in no mood to forgive Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘Pakistan’ remark, a remark directed at his predecessor Manmohan Singh.
The party, which saw its seat tally in Gujarat go up by 16, raked up the matter once again in both houses of Parliament. “Dr. Manmohan Singh ji‘s integrity and loyalty to the country has been questioned. PM should come in the house and make it clear,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in Rajya Sabha as the Grand Old Party demanded that PM Modi apologise for his Pakistan remark.
In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan briefly adjourned the house as Congress members raised a din. As soon as the house met again, the Congress members tried to raise the issue but Mahajan denied them permission and went ahead with the Question Hour.
Congress members, however, trooped into the well of the House and continued to raise slogans demanding an apology from Modi. “All elections are over, the things that are said on the roads shall not come to Parliament…I am not allowing you to raise the issue,” Mahajan said.
An angry Mahajan then slammed the Congress for disrupting the very winter session of Parliament, which they had insisted on convening and was unhappy over its delay. The party later walked out of the Lok Sabha.
In Rajya Sabha, on the other hand, several Opposition and government leaders went into a huddle with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley and Azad were expected to make a statement in the Upper House, as of last updating this report.
On the campaign trail in Gujarat, PM Modi essentially alleged that senior Congress leaders, including ex-PM Singh and Mani Shankar Ayiar (now suspended from the party) had colluded with Pakistani officials. The collusion, PM Modi had hinted at a December 10 rally, was a conspiracy to prevent the BJP from winning the Gujarat election.
The Congress took offence to the allegations raised by the Prime Minister and came out hitting. Manmohan Singh, himself, refuted the claims made by Modi in Gujarat in an unusually aggressive statement. “I am deeply pained and anguished by the falsehood and canards being spread [by PM Modi] to score political points in a lost cause,” Singh said, first in a written statement and then on video.
“Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable,” Singh went on to say as he questioned why PM Modi had visited Pakistan “uninvited” after the terrorist attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur.
“Let him also tell the country the reason for inviting the infamous ISI of Pakistan to our strategic air base in Pathankot to investigate a terror attack that emanated from Pakistan,” Singh said. “My track record of public service to the country over last five decades is known to everyone. No one, including Sh. Modi, can lamely question it to gain lost political ground.
“I sincerely hope that Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds instead of concentrating his energy solely on erroneously conceived brownie points,” Singh said, ending his statement with: “I sincerely hope that he will apologize to the Nation for his ill thought transgression to restore the dignity of the office he occupies.”