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Natwar salutes, PM responds

The pleasantries come after the former external affairs minister's fulminations against Manmohan over Pathak report.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 13:34 IST

It may not have signalled the end of the 'war' on the part of former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, who had fulminated against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Justice Pathak Authority report, but the two leaders exchanged salutations in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

It happened towards the end of Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, when Natwar Singh, who had given vent to his pent-up anger against the Congress leadership for having suspended him in the Iraqi oil-for-food scam, rose from his front row seat, and went to the Table and presented a piece of paper to Rajya Sabha Secretary General Yogendra Narain.

While coming back to the seat, he offered his salutation to the Prime Minister, who was sitting along with Parliamentary Affairs and I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, and the Prime Minister responded in a spontaneous salutation to him.

While Manmohan Singh attended the entire Question Hour, Natwar Singh had come around 1045 hrs.

The former External Affairs Minister, whose active association with the Congress is over two decades old, was suspended by the party's Disciplinary Action Committee on Tuesday in the wake of the Justice Pathak Authority indicting him for taking advantage of his position in the oil-for-food scam.

On Wednesday, Natwar Singh had vented his spleen against Manmohan Singh for not defending him on the issue, describing him as the "spineless PM".

Earlier, the Opposition had demanded that the Prime Minister, who was sitting in the House, make a statement on the 'Natwar episode'.

However, Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat ruled that the issue would be taken up only after the Question Hour.