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Modi disapproves minister's remark, opposition wants her to quit
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 12/4/2014 12:00:00 AM

 New Delhi :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday he strongly disapproved of union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti's controversial remark and urged the opposition not to disrupt the Rajya Sabha. The opposition, however, persisted with its demand for her sack from the council of ministers.

Senior government members tried to pacify opposition members in the Rajya Sabha, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah naidu and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urging the unrelenting opposition members to let the house run after the prime minister's statement, but to no avail.

Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, which has been witnessing protests over Jyoti's remark, Modi said: "Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti has apologised... the house should gracefully accept that and carry forward its business in national interest."

"When I got to know about the statement, there was a meeting of my party. Very strongly I disapproved the language and said even in the heat of elections we should avoid such comment... even before the issue was raised in house, I took it up," he added.

The prime minister said: "The minister, who is new, has come to the house for the first time. We know her background, she apologised."

"It is also a lesson for us, we must follow the dos and don'ts."

Jyoti reportedly said at a public meeting here: "Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki." (You have to decide if you want a government in Delhi to be led by the children of Lord Ram or illegitimate children).

As soon as the prime minister sat down, Naidu stood up and said: "In view of the prime minister's statement, I request the house should be allowed to function." 

The opposition, however, refused to relent.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said: "It is not about the minister's experience. We do not have bad feelings against anyone as a person... The constitution does not accept such statement, so the opposition urges, to respect constitution, tough action must be taken, and the minister should be dismissed."

Jaitley, who is Leader of the House, too wooed the opposition.

"Prime minister has made a statement, and the opposition has stated its position. Let us get on with the work," Jaitley said.

The upper house, which had already witnessed one adjournment before the prime minister's statement, however, continued to be disrupted by opposition members who refused to relent and said the minister should be sacked.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said: "Niranjan Jyoti's apology means she has committed a crime. She must resign."

The protests forced another adjournment. When the house met at noon for question hour, the protests continued, forcing Chairman M. Hamid Ansari to adjourn the house till 2 p.m.

Ansari said it was "unbecoming" of members to keep disrupting the proceedings.

When the Rajya Sabha met again at 2.35 p.m., protests continued and forced Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house for the day.

In the Lok Sabha, question hour was disrupted as opposition members demanded a statement by the prime minister on the issue.

Members of the opposition trooped near the speaker's podium and also raised slogans like "Achche din kahan kahan gaye, PM Modi jawaab do." (Where have the promises of good days gone, PM Modi give an answer.)

The house was disrupted for over an hour.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the prime minister should make a statement as he is Leader of the House.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tried to pacify the members, but some opposition leaders staged a walkout. The Lok Sabha later resumed business.

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Modi disapproves minister's remark, opposition wants her to quit

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