The Congress is unhappy with former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for calling Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley a “fascist” during his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
“It is unacceptable and in bad taste,” a senior party leader said, requesting anonymity.
The party is of the opinion that it’s inappropriate to make such a personal remark against political leaders and that too in Parliament. “We would have absolutely no problem had he targeted the BJP.”
Congress managers feel Aiyar’s remark has disturbed floor management in both Houses, given that the government was considering introducing some important bills, particularly the civilian nuclear liability bill in Lok Sabha.
The government has so far introduced important bills, including the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, amid noisy scenes.
“I regret we have to introduce bills in this manner but we can’t help it…,” said a senior UPA functionary.
The BJP is insisting that Aiyar should apologise to Jaitley and has threatened to disrupt proceedings in both Houses if he doesn’t.
BJP MPs were on their feet the moment the Finance Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha. Deputy Leader of the Opposition, SS Ahluwalia, said: “We have co-operated with the government on the finance bill but will not allow the House to proceed normally till Aiyar apologises.”
Some Congress members had also approached Aiyar in this regard on Tuesday but he is unrelenting. Sources close to Aiyar said while the former minister would not apologise to Jaitley, he would go by the directions of the Chair.