The Bharatiya Janata Party planned to walk out of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday but changed its mind after the “gracious” apology by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the remark made by his party colleague Beni Prasad Verma during the debate on the Liberhan report on Tuesday.
“The Prime Minister has very graciously apologised. I am grateful,” BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said while refusing to admit that the party was wrong to disturb the proceedings during Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s reply to the Liberhan report debate.
In fact, she said at a morning meeting of party leaders at the residence of Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani on Wednesday, they planned to question the Prime Minister on his day to answer questions, which was “today” (Wednesday). If there was no satisfactory response, the plan was to continue to register its protest by “walking out” against Mr. Verma using an objectionable word against Mr. Vajpayee. However, Dr. Singh apologised even before the BJP could flag the issue.
Ms. Swaraj claimed that her party had no intention to block Mr. Chidambaram’s response to the debate on Tuesday, although that is exactly what BJP MPs did by continuously shouting slogans during his one-hour long reply. Ms. Swaraj blamed the government for not defusing the problem that had arisen as a “proper apology” from Mr. Verma was not forthcoming. She said the BJP “wanted to hear the Home Minister” even as she blamed the government for not adequately responding to the party’s grievance.
Asked why Mr. Chidambaram’s apology on Tuesday soon after the incident in the Lok Sabha was not enough, Ms. Swaraj said there was a big difference between the Home Minister and the Prime Minister, who is “head of government.”