NEW DELHI: The inflammatory remarks reportedly made by MoS Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti at a late evening rally in West Delhi, which has snowballed into a major issue in Parliament, leading to several adjournments in both Houses on Tuesday, may yet again paralyse the functioning of the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
With the Opposition closing ranks and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi taking an emergent meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the issue is unlikely to go away with the apology from the Minister, delivered in both Houses of Parliament, apparently after a strict behind-the-scene prompting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“A mere apology will not suffice,” was the refrain from the Opposition, including the Congress, TMC, SP, JD(U) and the Left. The Opposition has demanded her resignation, FIR and a statement from the PM.
Justifying the escalation of the issue, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said that the Supreme Court and Kolkata High Court direction on such matter is clear that “apology is not enough, there has to be an FIR.”
Going for the jugular, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Anybody can file an FIR and I am sure they will definitely do that.” He however left it unclear whether his party’s local unit will take such a step. But with the Congress top-brass taking up the issue at Sonia’s meeting, the party is unlikely to let go off the issue easily. In fact, Singhvi sought to drag the Prime Minister into the controversy questioning what he called his “culpable silence”.
“What is Narendra Modi’s stand on this? Why has he not condemned it so far? Before this, Giriraj Singh had also said such things and he was made a minister. Why is the PM quite-it’s a case of culpable silence both within and outside Parliament,” Singhvi went on.
The Congress also alleged that Delhi is being converted into the “second laboratory” of such politics after Uttar Pradesh.
Though many BJP top leaders criticised the comments as “unacceptable”, they said the matter ended with her apology.
Both Jaitley and Naidu later drew attention to Jyoti’s humble background to explain away the comments.
However, the explanations about her impoverished Dalit background did not cut ice with the Opposition, particularly BSP chief Mayawati. “It is a clear case of violation of the constitutional mandate. The Minister has to face the consequence of breaking the oath of the Constitution,” she said.