Minister’s remarks rock Parliament

Modi expresses oblique disapproval; Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti apologises but Opposition demands her resignation

December 02, 2014 11:25 pm | Updated April 05, 2016 03:04 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were disrupted on Tuesday by a united Opposition over some “objectionable” remarks made by Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

Addressing a rally in election-bound Delhi, she is reported to have told people to choose between sons of Ram and illegitimate sons.

Outside Parliament, while the Opposition questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence, he obliquely disapproved of the controversial remarks at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, asking party members to refrain from making comments that were “unacceptable.” He asked members to be careful about their demeanour.

While the Lok Sabha resumed Question Hour after she expressed regret on the floor of the House, the Opposition refused to relent in the Rajya Sabha, demanding her resignation and a direction from the Chair to the government to lodge an FIR against her for what they described as a “culpable,” “cognizable” and “compoundable” offence.

The government insisted that the matter be put to rest as the Minister had “expressed regret,” “specifically apologised” and “withdrawn her statement.”

With the Opposition demanding further action, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who described her remarks as “unacceptable” and “improper,” said the law would take its own course.

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