New Delhi: There was ruckus in Parliament on Wednesday as veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani made a controversial remark against the UPA government.
The veteran leader began a debate on the violence in Kokrajhar in Assam putting the blame squarely on the illegal migrants from Bangladesh, but went on to make some controversial remark against the UPA-II government, causing uproar in Parliament.
"Never in the Indian history crores of rupees were spent to win votes in the House," Advani said.
Reacting strongly to his statement, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who usually does not appear agitated during Parliament proceedings, was seen goading Congress MPs to retaliate. She made animated gestures and intervened as many as nine times. She was seen instructing partymen and objecting to Advani's statement herself.
Advani later clarified his statement saying, "I am referring to the vote of confidence in the House, not the 2009 elections."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also raised strong objection to the statement of the veteran BJP leader. Hitting out at the former deputy prime Minister, Singh said that his controversial remark on UPA-II was disgraceful and unfortunate.
Later, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi also took a dig at Advani saying, "He's a senior. He knows what he's saying. I wouldn’t like to comment on it."
Union HRD Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal also slammed the BJP veteran over his remarks calling it unfortunate and saying that the party has forgotten the facts of history.
"I think it's very unfortunate because the fact of the matter is that it was referring to the event that happened in 2008, which was the no-confidence motion. So, it got its fact wrong and obviously I think that NDA has been suffering a lot since 2004. We can understand that and that sort of coming out in forgetting the facts of history," said Sibal.
The BJP, however, appeared in no mood to relent as it chose to hit back at the Congress, saying there was no question of an apology on the issue.
Instead, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that the Congress needed to apologise for insulting the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Hussain said, "There is no question of apology. Advani was referring to the 2008 trust vote. He has cleared his stand. The Congress ministers have insulted the Speaker and they should apologise."
The BJP further hit out at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, accusing her of provoking the leaders of the ruling alliance.
"When Pranab Mukherjee was here, even then it was remote controlled by Sonia Gandhi. She should have asked her MPs to maintain decorum, but instead she provoked them," said the BJP spokesperson.