New Delhi, Dec 27: Facing severe backlash from the Opposition in the ongoing winter session of Parliament over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the NDA Government on Wednesday came out with a clarification.

Reading out a statement in Rajya Sabha, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said PM Modi never questioned the “commitment” of either Manmohan Singh or former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

“PM in his speeches didn’t question, nor meant to question the commitment to this nation of either former PM Manmohan Singh or Former VP Hamid Ansari, any such perception is erroneous, we hold these leaders in high esteem, as well as their commitment to India,” Arun Jaitley said. (Also Read: PM Modi Remark on Manmohan: Venkaiah Naidu Says ‘Nobody Will Apologise as Nothing Happened in Parliament’)

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also made a statement in the House over the party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech” remark directed at PM Modi.

“Thank leader of the house for clarification on what has been issue of contention. I, on behalf of my party, say that we disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity, also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future,” Azad said.

PM Modi, in one of his election rallies in Gujarat, had accused former PM Manmohan Singh of conspiring with Pakistan to influence the outcome of Assembly polls in his home state.

The PM further claimed that Pakistani officials and Singh met a day before Mani Shankar Aiyar made the ‘neech’ jibe against him.

The meeting took place at Aiyar’s residence, he added, further raising questions on the alleged appeal by former director general (DG) of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq for making senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel the CM of Gujarat. (Also Read: Manmohan Singh’s Rare Attack on PM: ‘Fearing Imminent Defeat in Gujarat, Modi’s Desperation is Palpable’)

Both the Houses have witnessed repeated disruptions since the start of Winter Session of Parliament on December 15 over Prime Minister Modi’s remarks against Singh.

The Rajya Sabha, on the other hand, has seen daily adjournments, owing to repeated disruptions by the opposition over a demand for the Prime Minister, to come to the House, to give a clarification on his remark that Singh, was conspiring with Pakistan to ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the recently held elections in Gujarat.

Singh has rejected the charge as “innuendos and falsehoods”, and added he was deeply pained by the prime minister’s “ill thought transgression”.