Members in the Rajya Sabha on Monday raised the issue of low representation of Muslim children in public school admissions in the Capital this year, resulting in a verbal duel with BJP MPs.
The House witnessed heated arguments after Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party) quoted a news report in The Hindu that pointed to Muslim children finding little or no place in this year's nursery school admissions.
Immediately, Balbir Punj of the Bharatiya Janata Party took issue with the former Minister, objecting to his referring to religion in education, and said the community should stop sending its children to seminaries.
At this, Tariq Anwar (Nationalist Congress Party) rose in support of Mr. Paswan and said the BJP leader was biased.
The LJP leader asked Mr. Punj why the BJP got agitated when an issue concerning minorities was raised while the party showcased a Muslim as its spokesperson.
“Are not Muslims citizens of this country? Will only Muslims raise their issues,” Mr. Paswan asked agitatedly, adding that while public schools took facilities from the government they did not admit children from minorities and the Scheduled Castes.
Amid the verbal clashes, P.J. Kurien, who was in the Chair, declared that the time allocated to Mr. Paswan was over even as he sought extra time for what was lost due to interruptions.
During the din, S.S. Ahluwalia (BJP) said Mr. Paswan made insinuating remarks against the Chair but the LJP leader said he didn't.
Keywords: Muslim children