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Congress and BJP end logjam in Rajya Sabha

Twelve days after Parliament’s Winter Session had begun, the impasse in the Rajya Sabha between the ruling BJP and the Congress was finally broken on Wednesday after a statement by finance minister Arun Jaitley, Leader of the House, in which he said that “the Prime Minister, in his statements or speeches, did not question the commitment to this nation either by Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister, or Mr Hamid Ansari, former vice-president”.

The Congress had been demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “conspiracy-with-Pakistan” allegation relating to former PM Manmohan Singh made during the Gujarat campaign. A middle path was, however, worked out by the BJP and the Congress and Mr Jaitley, in a suo moto statement in the House on Wednesday, added: “Any such perception is completely erroneous. We hold these leaders in high esteem, as also their commitment to this nation.”

As part of the middle path, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also made a statement, saying: “ I want to thank the Leader of the House that he issued a clarification on the issue which was causing the deadlock for the last one week. If during the elections (recent Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh), any member of our party gave such a statement that was against the stature of the Prime Minister, then our party dissociates itself from any such statement and we would not want any word to be said against the stature of the Prime Minister”. This was in response to the comments by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was later suspended by the Congress for his comments against Mr Modi.

“Dear Mr Jaitlie — thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means. #BJPLies,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu thanked all members for the deadlock’s resolution. Mr Naidu had initiated the process to end the deadlock, and a meeting between him and former PM Manmohan Singh had also taken place. Interestingly, Congress affiliates on the social media claimed a victory, and said that once again the BJP had taken a U-turn. After the statements by both leaders, the Upper House functioned smoothly. The Winter Session is due to end on January 5.

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