Seeking truce with agitating opposition members over controversial remarks made by Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the matter should be put to rest after her apology, but it failed to satisfy them.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, he emphasised that everyone should understand limits in public discourse.
“. . . it is our duty that we understand our limits in public life and stay within our limits while making public discourse.
“Now we should allow the matter to rest and we should continue with our work in national interest,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister’s statement, however, failed to mollify the opposition members, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who had tied black cloth on their mouth, as they staged a walkout.
Stating that the Rajya Sabha has not been functioning for some time now, Modi said, “I am grateful to all members of the Lok Sabha that they allowed the House to function despite the sensitivity of the issue.”
Even before the Parliament took up the issue, Modi said he had expressed his disapproval and sternly asked BJP MPs against using such words.
“Nobody can approve such things,” he said.
Noting that the matter should be put to rest as the Minister has already apologised, Modi said her social background that she is from a village should be taken into account.
“It is the duty of the distinguished members of the House that when a colleague seeks apology, we should be magnanimous,” he said.
After Modi’s statement, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said the opposition wanted to know why such a thing happened.
“We are not against any individual” nor their background but the issue is that many BJP leaders have been making controversial statements, he said.
Such statements are creating a situation in the country where social unity is threatened, he said and wanted to know what action government is taking in this regard.
While opposition members continued to agitate after the Prime Minister’s statement, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the protests have to stop.
E Ahamed (IUML) was heard saying that the government was not listening to the opposition.
Soon, members from Congress, Left parties, IUML and AAP staged a walk out.