'It is surprising that Congress expects the Prime Minister of India to apologise,' Jaitley says.
New Delhi: After Manmohan Singh on Monday asked Narendra Modi to “apologise to the nation” for spreading ‘falsehoods and canards’ while campaigning for Gujarat Assembly elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at Congress veteran leader for seeking an apology from the Prime Minister.
“Former PM Manmohan Singh has issued a statement asking PM Modi to apologise for what he said in an election rally with regard to a meeting involving Pakistani delegations. It is surprising that Congress party expect the Prime Minister of India to apologise for it,” Jaitley said.
In a statement on Monday, Manmohan came down heavily on Modi for accusing him of "not showing courage" to order a surgical strike after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
“My track record of public service to the country over last five decades is known to everyone. No one, including Modi, can lamely question it to gain lost political ground,” Singh said in the statement.
“I am deeply pained and anguished by the falsehoods and canards being spread to score political points in a lost cause by none less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat,” Singh said.
The Congress leader also dismissed Modi's allegations that Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar had discussed Gujarat Assembly elections with Pakistani officials on December 6, and conspired to make Ahmed Patel the chief minister of the state.
Jaitley has demanded that the Congress “come out with detailed facts on what transpired in that meeting and what was the necessity of having it in present circumstances”.
“Yesterday they were in denial about it and today instead of accepting it as a misadventure. They try to blame those raising the issue,” Jaitley said.
He accused Aiyar of maintaining a parallel line of dialogue, underplaying Pakistan's role in instigating terrorism in India and continuing to engage with the neighbouring country.
Singh had asked Modi to apologise “to the nation” for the allegations he made against the Congress party and its members, and restore “dignity of the office he (Modi) occupies”.