PM Modi Reaches Out To Manmohan Singh, With A Warm Handshake

The show of cordiality comes weeks after PM Modi, in the middle of an acrid campaign for the Gujarat election last month, appeared to insinuate that Manmohan Singh had conspired with Pakistan to attempt the BJP's defeat in the state.

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PM Modi Reaches Out To Manmohan Singh, With A Warm Handshake

The handshake came weeks after PM Modi's attack on Dr Manmohan Singh (File photo)

NEW DELHI: 

Highlights

  1. PM Modi had alleged Dr Singh conspired with Pak against BJP in Gujarat
  2. Congress, opposition had blocked parliament demanding PM Modi's apology
  3. PM Modi didn't question Dr Singh's commitment to country: Arun Jaitley
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessor Manmohan Singh greeted each other and shook hands in the Rajya Sabha after the winter session of parliament ended on Friday. The show of cordiality comes weeks after PM Modi, in the middle of an acrid campaign for the Gujarat election last month, appeared to insinuate that Manmohan Singh had conspired with Pakistan to attempt the BJP's defeat in the state.

The Congress, aided by other opposition parties, had blocked parliament for days to demand that PM Modi apologise to the former prime minister for the insinuation. "I am deeply hurt by the falsehood being spread, everyone knows my track record," Dr Manmohan had said in the video statement.

PM Modi didn't apologise but the ruling party bought peace in parliament by a statement from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the Prime Minister did not question, nor meant to question Dr Manmohan Singh's commitment to the country.

As soon as Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House sine die on Friday, PM Modi walked over to the opposition benches and reached out to the former prime minister as well, warmly shaking hands with Dr Manmohan Singh and speaking with him for a bit.

There was no word on what they spoke about.

But later, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar asserted that the session had gone off much better than what many people had expected.

The Lok Sabha did work for almost twice as much as the Rajya Sabha in terms of the number of bills passed. But the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling BJP is in a minority, did pass 9 bills, just a little short of the 13 passed by the Lok Sabha. "This is the first time this is happening," Mr Kumar said.

PM Modi also shook hands with some other senior leaders too including Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien and veteran Congress leader Karan Singh, whose tenure ends before parliament reconvenes for the Budget session.

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