Row over V.K. Singh remark haunts Modi

Updated - March 25, 2016 12:51 am IST

Published - December 07, 2015 04:43 am IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released two commemorative coins to mark Constitution framer Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s death anniversary, even as the Opposition kept up a fierce attack on the NDA government for its silence on certain derogatory remarks made by Union Minister V.K. Singh on Dalits.

While releasing the two coins, of Rs. 125 and Rs. 10 denominations, the Prime Minister said that “the more one looks at the values of Dr. Ambedkar in the context of today’s issues, the more we come to respect his vision and his approach to inclusiveness.”

He had earlier in the day joined Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and members of his Cabinet to pay homage to Dr. Ambedkar in Parliament.

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, however, dismissed the events as “hollow statements”, and accused Mr. Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of remaining silent when General (retired) V. K. Singh made ‘derogatory remarks about two Dalit children who died in Faridabad in October.

General Singh had said that “the Central government cannot be blamed if dogs are being stoned somewhere,” when asked to comment on the Faridababd deaths.

The issue has been raised in Parliament for the last one week, with the Congress and the BSP demanding the Minister’s dismissal.

“The latest remarks of [General V.K.] Singh have crossed all limits of decency. It is sad that no head of any constitutional body took notice of his statement and initiated any action. We were forced to boycott him at least in the Rajya Sabha,” Ms. Mayawati said.

“It is now difficult to believe that the present government will do something different from the Congress regime to help the common man from burning issues facing the nation.”

“It is a bitter truth that such a communal mindset was displayed when the Prime Minister made an anti-Muslim remark on the 2002 Gujarat riots in an interview ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls,” she said in a strongly worded statement.

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