Racial remarks against Sonia; Cong for Giriraj’s dismissal from ministry
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday demanded
Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s dismissal from the ministry for his intemperate
and distasteful remarks against Sonia Gandhi, and rejected the minister’s
defence that he had spoken “off the record”.
“Congress strongly deprecates and
condemns the intemperate and distasteful remarks of union Minister Giriraj
Singh bordering on insanity. It appears that the continuous quest to appease
Prime Minister Modi has made him lose his balance. Such remarks are reflective
of the lack of moral fibre in the BJP and its cadre,” Congress communications
department head Randeep Surjewala said.
Surjewala said Singh was known for
“similar vexation in the past”, referring to his April 2014 comment about
Modi’s opponents being packed off to Pakistan. He also mentioned an alleged
theft at Singh’s Patna home in July last year, in which a sum bigger than what
the minister had told the police was recovered from the alleged thief.
“Perhaps he is the only person who
refused to reclaim Rs 1.14 crore of currency as also US dollars recovered by
police after apprehending those who committed a theft in his house. For conduct
of this nature, he was rewarded by Prime Minister Modi by appointing him as a
Minister in union cabinet,” Surjewala said.
In response, BJP spokesperson GVL
Narasimha Rao said that Singh has already expressed regret. “However, the moot
question remains is that the Congress is a family-run political party and
(Sonia) had become the president only by virtue of her marriage, not by merit.
Congress needs to explain it.” he said.
The Bihar BJP leadership, however,
disowned Singh’s remarks. A senior BJP leader in Patna called the minister a
“constant trouble-maker”. Singh, a prominent upper-caste Bhumihar leader from
Lakhisarai, had caught the central leadership’s eye after he started to
aggressively take on Nitish Kumar to defend Modi around the time of the split
between the JD(U) and BJP in Bihar.
In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Rao, when
asked about \Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s alleged advice to
agitating nurses that they should not be out in the sun because it would make
them “dark” and “ruin their marital prospects”, said, “Some of these comments
are avoidable, as such comments receive a lot of media attention. One should be
careful about making statements.”