The comments by Mohd Salim, who cited a report in a news magazine while initiating the debate on 'intolerance, led to a deadlock with the ruling side demanding that he either withdraw these comments or apologise.

The logjam, because of which the House was adjourned four times, was resolved in the evening after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan expunged the remarks related to the allegations. This paved the way for resumption of the debate during which opposition parties like CPI(M) and Congress attacked the government, alleging that intolerance had increased since the NDA government came.

BJP hit back by saying that incidents, which were being projected by the opposition as examples of 'intolerance', had been taking place in the country for decades. Its member Meenakshi Lekhi also cited Home Ministry figures to insist that incidents of communal violence had come since NDA came to power.

Earlier, the ruling and the Opposition sides locked horns after Salim alleged that Singh was quoted by the magazine as having made the 'Hindu leader' remark after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister last year. Citing the magazine, Salim said Singh had made the remark at an internal meeting of RSS.

Singh vehemently denied it and said he was never hurt so much in his Parliamentary career as he was today. "Mohd Salim levelled a serious allegation against me. He should say when and where I made such a statement or apologise .... A Home Minister who makes such a statement has no moral right to be the Home Minister. I speak after weighing every word... People know Rajnath Singh can never make such a statement," Singh said.

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