Surprising Congress expects PM to apologise for 'Pakistan remark': Jaitley
Ruling out an apology by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday termed the meeting of former PM Manmohan Singh and other Congress leaders with Pakistani diplomats as "misadventure".
"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 press conference.
Hitting out at the Congress, he demanded to know why it had felt the need to engage with Pakistan's former foreign minister and its envoy a few days ago, when the national position on talks with the neighbouring country is well known.
"Congress and its leadership should come out with detailed facts of the meeting and the necessity of the meeting in present circumstances," Jaitley said.
"Those like Mani Shankar Aiyar always had an inconsistent position. They maintained a parallel line of dialogue, underplayed Pakistan's role in instigating terrorism in India and continued to engage with them (Pak)," he said.
Earlier in the day, former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh has accused Narendra Modi of setting a "dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of the former Prime Minister and Army Chief".
In a written statement, the mild spoken Congress leader sought to clarify his position regarding a speech made by Prime Minister Modi accusing senior Congress leaders of holding a secret meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's residence, which was attended by a former Pakistani envoy and foreign minister.