NEW DELHI:Union Minister and former army chief V K Singh on Thursday kicked up a controversy with an insensitive comment — that a government cannot be held responsible if somebody stones a dog — as he tried to defend the Centre’s action on the Dalit killing incident.
The minister’s controversial remark came when he told media in response to a question on the Dalit killing. “See, the thing is, never associate local incidents with the Central government. There is an inquiry going on.. For everything, like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible, it is not like that,” Singh said.
He was talking about the burning alive of a Dalit family allegedly by upper caste Rajputs in Haryana’s Faridabad which left two toddlers dead on the intervening night of October 19-20.
As the controversy raged on, Singh ambiguously clarified on Twitter, “My statement wasn’t intended to draw an analogy. My men and I put our lives on the line for the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion.”
But as the issue threatened to snowball into a major issue, Singh condemned the incident. “The dastardly and cowardly act that led to killing of two innocent children in Haryana is a shocking reflection of our society.”
But this failed to cut any ice with the Opposition, especially with the Bihar poll in progress and caste playing a major factor there.
Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, “General V K Singh has insulted not only the entire Dalit community but all Indians.” He demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack him.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal called Singh’s statement “shameful” and that it was prosecutable under the SC/ST Act.