Giriraj Singh Apologises For The Racist Remarks On Sonia Gandhi
Giriraj Singh had once told all Muslims to go to Pakistan
NEW DELHI: The Congress and its allies raised the issue of Giriraj Singh’s comment on Sonia Gandhi’s skin colour, and demanded his resignation, in the Lok Sabha House on Monday, forcing him to finally tender an apology.
When the house met, Congress leaders termed the comment as an attack on womanhood.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition, raised the point that such unwarranted comments are becoming frequent from BJP party members, and they create fissures in society.
Some of the opposition party leaders also demanded an apology from the Prime Minister.
Speaker of the House, Sumitra Mahajan, countered this. “It is not right to drag the PM into everything,” she said. She said that she too was hurt by such remarks, and such remarks should not be made.
At one point, Kharge became indignant when his mike was switched off while he was still speaking. "Whenever I speak, the mike is switched off...I have to protest," he said.
Jyotiraditya Scindia from Congress was more acerbic in his take on the issue. "The minister should resign and Prime Minister should apologise to the house for such preposterous statements. Why is the PM on maun vrat (silent?)," he said.
Scindia also asked for an apology from the PM and the resignation of the minister. He brought forth the point of view of the Nigerian Embassy as well, which he said was not happy over the undisputedly racist remarks made by Singh.
BJP leader, Venkaiah Naidu said that it was not right to bring PM into the matter. “PM is the leader of House”, he said.
Kharge, in his demand for an apology, implored the PM to take on collective responsibility for the actions of his ministers.
In the Question Hour, the leaders from the opposition party swarmed to the well of the House, forcing it to be adjourned briefly. When the meet reconvened at 11:45 AM, Giriraj Singh, rose from his seat and tendered an apology.
"If my comments have caused offence to anyone, I apologise," he said. Sonia Gandhi, too was present in the House.
The controversy magnet, who has in the past made many regressive comments on sexist and communalist lines, had recently rhetorically asked reporters whether Sonia Gandhi would have been accepted had she been a Nigerian.
"Had Rajiv Gandhi married a Nigerian woman and if she was not a white-skinned woman, would the Congress have then accepted her (Sonia's) leadership," he had said.