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A day after Montek Ahluwalia’s ‘disclosure’ that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sought his advice if he should quit when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tore the ordinance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Singh should apologise to the country for not stepping down then.

However, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala maintained that neither the party nor Gandhi would ever think of disrespecting the former prime minister. “Rahulji had always described him as his guru. But it was Rahul Gandhi who displayed the will to show the way for cleansing politics. The issue is not about tearing the paper but that of decriminalizing politics and the apex court has put its stamp on that by asking political parties to upload details of pending criminal cases against candidates contesting polls. What Rahul Gandhi had stated then, we stand by it,” he said.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, “This (incident) shows the helplessness of Manmohan Singh. That day, by tearing the ordinances, Rahul Gandhi not just insulted Singh, but the cabinet was humiliated too. If self respect was important to him (Singh) he should have resigned.”