Union Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd.) V. K. Singh, on Wednesday said Centre cannot be blamed for the murder of two Dalit children in Faridabad. But what he said immediately after that, while speaking on the sidelines of a function in his constituency, Ghaziabad, kicked up a political storm.
While defending the Centre over the murders, Mr. Singh said the government cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog.
"If somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible. It is not like that," said Mr. Singh, in a statement which had led to the Opposition demanding his resignation. The Aam Aadmi Party immediately reacted to his statement and demanded his arrest under SC/ST Atrocities Act.
While speaking to the media in Ghaziabad, Mr. Singh said, "See, the thing is, never associate local incidents with the Central government. There is an inquiry going on. There was a dispute between families. The dispute...how did it turn out... Where did the administration fail...."
When asked if the Government failed in view of the of burning of the Dalit family in Haryana in which two children were burnt alive on October 19, the Union Minister said, "For everything...like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible...it is not like that".
Later, Mr. Singh tweeted his clarification and said,"My statement was not intended to draw an analogy. My men and I put out lives for the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion".
He termed the burning of the Dalit children alive as "localised issues" and further tweeted, "We must stand united and let no one exploit our diversity by blowing up localised issues. Jai hind!"
Congress termed Mr.Singh's statement as "shocking". " It is condemnable, shocking and inhuman to say the least. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told the media. "It reflects the mindset of the Modi government which insults Dalits and minorities and looks down upon the people who are poor and downtrodden."
AAP to file case against V.K. Singh
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed Mr. Singh's statement "shameful" and demanded from Prime Minister that he should sack Mr. Singh on the day of Dussehra.
"VK Singh's statement is shameful and prosecutable under SC/ST Act. A case should be registered against him immediately," Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.
"Agar Modiji sach mein Dusshera manana chahte hai to unko apne cabinet ko burai aur AHANKAAR se mukt karna chahiye. Aaj shaam se pehle, VK Singh ko Cabinet se bahar nikaal dena chahiye. ( If Mr. Modi really wants to celebrate Dussehra then he should free his Cabinet from evil and arrogance. He should remove VK Singh from his cabinet by this evening," Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.
Senior AAP leader Ashutosh announced on Twitter," AAP will go to police thana tomorrow to file an FIR ag V K Singh/demand his arrest as under SC/ST act this is a non congnisable offence."
Mr. Singh is, however, not new to controversy. His remark on the media calling it "presstitude" had received lots of flak.
The two children — two-and-a-half year old Vaibhav and 11-months-old Divya — had died when their house was set on fire, allegedly by members of upper caste community, Rajput on October 19.
My statement wasn't intended 2draw an analogy. My men & I put our lives on the line 4the nation irrespective of caste,creed & religion.(1/n)— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) >October 22, 2015
I standby to serve India with the same spirit, right now and always. Our nation, its success and its people motivate me daily. (2/n)— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) >October 22, 2015
We must stand united and let no one exploit our diversity by blowing up localized issues. Jai hind! (4/4)— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) >October 22, 2015