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Prime Minister seeks pardon for Sadhvi, rules out removal

Defending union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti by saying that she belongs to a rural background and could not nuance her speech well, the PM on Friday appealed to the Lok Sabha to show ‘generosity’. Modi she had already apologied for her ‘unacceptable’ comment made recently in the national capital.

While urging the Opposition to allow smooth functioning of the House, Modi said, “The minister has apologised, she is new and we are also aware of her social background. She comes from a village. It is our duty that when a colleague seeks apology, we should be magnanimous.” Sending a subtle warning, he also asked party leaders to understand their limits while making public statement. “I request all to allow the matter to rest and we should continue with our work in national interest,” he added, while thanking the Opposition for allowing brief functioning of the House.

It has been learnt that following the intervention of Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari and Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, the opposition parties have agreed that work would resume ‘fully’ from Monday after PM’s statement in both Houses.

Earlier, in the day, an adamant Opposition did not allow the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority, to function for the fifth straight day and issued a joint statement seeking a resolution in Parliament to condemn the Jyoti’s remarks. Refuting chances of any resolution being allowed, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu speaking to the media outside the Parliament said, “There is no question of any resolution condemning her.”

Meanwhile, a ‘United Opposition’, including the Congress led by Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress leaders etc protested near a Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex on Friday morning against the government’s refusal to sack Jyoti for making a hate speech. All the leaders were covering their mouth with black scarves as a mark of protest for their voice not being heard inside the house. Speaking to media persons outside Parliament, Rahul Gandhi said that the government did not intend to hear the voice of others, and was adamant on its stand.
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