New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today shook hands with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die.
The cordial “handshake” came barely weeks after the duo had been locked in a bitter war of words over Gujarat elections.
As soon as Chairman M Venkiah Naidu adjourned the House sine die and ‘Vande Mataram’ was rendered, Modi was seen moving towards the opposition benches shaking hands with some members, including his predecessor.
He reached the seat of the former premier, shook hands with him for quite some time and spoke to him.
Among others with whom the Prime Minister was seen shaking hands were Deputy Chairman P J Kurien and veteran Congress leader Karan Singh, who was bid farewell by the Upper House today as his tenure ends on January 27.
The show of cordiality between the incumbent and the former premier follows a rare row that broke out last month after Modi insinuated that Manmohan Singh had colluded with Pakistan in the Gujarat polls and latter hitting back saying a “dangerous precedent” was being set by such accusations and seeking apology.
Both the Houses had witnessed stormy protests over the issue with an adamant opposition seeking apology from Modi for his statement during Gujarat poll campaign and the BJP sticking to its point that PM would not apologise.
Meanwhile, the lower house was also adjourned sine die, bringing to an end the short Winter Session during which the House passed 12 bills, including the ‘triple talaq’ legislation that seeks to criminalize instant divorce in the Muslim community.
Announcing the adjournment, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the session, which commenced on December 15, had 13 sittings spread over 61 hours and 48 minutes. The House lost about 15 hours due to disruptions and adjournments.
Important bills passed during the session included the central road fund (amendment) bill, the requisitioning and acquisition of immovable property bill, the national capital territory of Delhi laws (special provisions) second (amendment) bill and the goods and services tax (compensation to states) amendment bill.
A bill to hike the salary of high court and Supreme Court judges was also passed.
The Speaker said 16 bills were introduced by the government in the session.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House as she announced its adjournment after briefing members on the proceedings during the winter session.
The discussion on supplementary demands for grants, second and third batch for 2017-18, lasted for more than six hours before the demands were voted and the related appropriation bills passed, she said.
“In this session, while we lost over 14 hours and 51 minutes of time due to interruptions followed by forced adjournments, the House also sat late for 8 hours and 10 minutes to discuss various important issues,” she said.
During the session, 280 starred questions were listed, of which 45 questions were answered orally. Written replies to the remaining starred questions along with 3220 unstarred questions were tabled, she said.
About 198 matters of urgent public importance were raised by the members and by sitting late in the evening, while the members also raised 226 matters under rule 377, she said.
Standing committees presented 41 Reports to the House.
The Lok Sabha held a short duration discussion under rule 193 regarding natural calamities in various part of the country, with special reference to cyclone Ockhi in South India. The discussion was concluded with the reply by Home Minister, she said.
During the session, as many as 2255 papers were tabled by the ministers concerned, she said, adding that 98 Private Members’ bills on different subjects were also introduced. (PTI)