NEW DELHI: After behind the scenes deliberations, the government and the Congress finally buried their hatchet after one and a half days of disruptions in the Rajya Sabha.
Finance Minister and Leader of House Arun Jaitley withdrew his statement raising doubt about Congress leader Kumari Selja’s claim of caste discrimination at Dwaraka temple doesn’t survive, with Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal also expressing regret.
As soon as House assembled in the morning, Congress members trooped to the well of the house, shouting slogans calling for an apology from Goyal, who had described Selja’s allegation as “manufactured”.
While participating in a debate on the Constitution on Monday, Selja had alleged caste bias at the Dwaraka temple when she visited there as a Culture minister in 2013.
She appended that “this was also a form of the Gujarat model”, an implicit attack on Narendra Modi.
Submitting a copy of the visitor’s book of the temple, Jaitley showed Selja’s remarks in which she had appreciated her visit. Selja had then quickly claimed that she was not referring to the main Dwaraka temple, but the ‘Beyt Dwaraka’ one.
While some petitions of urgent importance were taken up on Thursday morning, slogan shouting continued, with the Congress chanting “maafi mango”, along with “constitution ka apman bandh karo, bandh karo”.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien was frustrated at the Congress MPs, noting that it was unfair that they were protesting when the matter was near resolution with a meeting between the leaders. “I cannot be intimidated,” he told the slogan-shouting MPs.