Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to make a statement in Parliament some time today on his comments about actor Aamir Khan after he was attacked in the Rajya Sabha by opposition parties who have accused him of “spreading insecurity.””May I ask what type of lesson he is going to teach us? The entire nation must know,” said the Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, while the Left’s Sitaram Yechury said, “Raksha Mantri can’t spread araksha (insecurity).’Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister on “why he is not reining in his ministers on what they say.”Over the weekend, the Defence Minister spoke about Aamir Khan and e-commerce major Snapdeal being taught an appropriate “lesson” after the actor expressed concern about what he called an atmosphere of intolerance. Snapdeal which used Mr Khan as a brand ambassador was trolled aggressively on social media and the actor is no longer associated with the company.Mr Parrikar who was present in the House today suggested that members watch the video of his speech rather than rely on media reports. In a disclaimer, he has said he did not mention anyone by name and was “only talking about people who talk against the country and not about someone’s freedom of speech.”Sources said he could make a statement in the Rajya Sabha and submit a transcript of his speech in the house.No time has been fixed yet for this, but the government will be keen to end the controversy quickly so it can prep unhindered to debate and pass the landmark goods and services tax bill in the upper house.The centre is targeting tomorrow for a vote on the proposal, after winning the support of most parties through extensive negotiations for GST, which replaces a mesh of state and central levies with a national sales tax.The GST bill, which needs the constitution to be amended, must get the support of two-thirds of the Rajya Sabha. Even without the 60 Rajya Sabha members of the Congress, the centre feels it has enough backing now to push the reform through.However, the Congress needs to abstain from disrupting the House to allow the bill to be discussed.
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