Congress party demands resignation of the minister and apology by the prime minister
GN Bureau | April 20, 2015
Union minister Giriraj Singh on Monday expressed regret on the floor of Lok Sabha over his sexist remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“Meri baaton se agar kisi ko dukh pahuncha hai to mai khed vyakt karta hun. Kisi ka apmaan karna mera uddeshya (motive) nahi tha, (I did not intend to hurt anyone. If my comment has hurt anyone's sentiments, I express regret)” Giriraj Singh said in LS. Singh was reported to have remarked in Hajipur that “had Rajiv Gandhi married a Nigerian woman and had she not been of white skin, would the Congress party have accepted her as a leader?” Congress had said the minister’s “intemperate and distasteful remarks border on insanity.”
As soon as the house resumed after a break of one month, Congress MPs were up in arms and called for Singh's resignation and an apology from prime minister Narendra Modi. They shouted slogans against Singh and claimed that several Union ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs had been making "derogatory comments" on women, their rivals and other sections of the society but the Prime Minister was yet to act against them.
"The statements being made by various minister and MPs on women is a serious matter. They should not use such language and the prime minister must act," said Congress leader in the house Mallikarjun Kharge.
Rejecting the Congress demand, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu accused the opposition of dragging Narendra Modi's name into every incident while adding that such statements should not be made.
"The prime minister is nowhere in this picture. The issue raised is an important issue that needs to be responded to. Nobody from the government approves such comments and that too personal comments. This sort of comment is not acceptable," said Naidu.
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