Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar Wednesday expressed regret over his remarks against Arun Jaitley, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha that caused disruptions in the house for the past two days.

After the house resumed its sitting in the post-lunch session, Mr. Aiyar said he regretted to have “inadvertently and without malicious intent” used the words which were subsequently expunged by the chair.

“The chair has expunged a few words and expressions I used at the start of my maiden speech on the evening of May 3, 2010. As one who has been selected for the outstanding Parliamentarian Award, 2006, I regret I have inadvertently and without malicious intent used the expunged words/expressions. I bow to the direction of the chair and seek chairman’s permission to resume my speech,” Mr. Aiyar said.

Deputy Chairman K. Rahman said that Mr. Aiyar could resume his speech when the house resumes discussion on the working of the home ministry.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members had been insisting on an apology from Mr. Aiyar after his “fascist” remark against Mr. Jaitley which was seen to be a personal attack.

Sources said Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had also advised Mr. Aiyar, who was nominated to the upper house in March this year, to express regret over his remarks and let the discussion on the working of the home ministry be completed.

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