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Tarun Vijay’s ‘racial’ remarks rock House

BJP leader Tarun Vijay’s controversial “racial” remarks rocked the Lok Sabha on Monday, with the Opposition members forcing three adjournments on their demand that an FIR be registered against him for an “anti-national” act. However, the Centre said the leader had apologised for the utterances.

The Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned once during Question Hour and twice during Zero Hour.

During the Zero Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge targeted the former MP saying such statements posed a threat to the country’s secular fabric, its unity and integrity.

Accusing the BJP and its leader of misguiding people for political gains, Mr. Kharge said during a TV debate on racism in India, in the context of the attack on Nigerians in Greater Noida, the leader in question had said: “If we were racists, why would we have the entire South which is, you know completely inhabited by Tamilians in Tamil Nadu, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh…why do we live with them? We have blacks, black people around us…”

Mr. Kharge demanded an FIR against the leader, seeking to know if the people of the South were citizens of India or not. “It shows your mentality…do you want to divide India, do you want to separate us, do you want that each State should assert for its independence?,” he asked, stating that an apology was not sufficient after the insult and humiliation.

In response, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India was a secular country and discrimination on any ground would not be tolerated. Mr. Singh said the leader had himself later said his utterances were indefensible, for which he tendered a sincere apology.

“In a TV interview, he said he was the adopted son of Tamil Thaai,” said the Home Minister.

However, not satisfied with the reply, several Opposition members gathered in the Well of the House to protest. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar intervened, stating that the leader was neither the party’s spokesperson nor a general secretary.

Stating that all Indians were one and that there was no discrimination, he asked Mr. Kharge and the Congress not to create such a situation.

Following protests, the House was adjourned and on resumption, the Opposition members again expressed dissatisfaction with the Home Minister’s reply. The House was adjourned again.

Earlier when the Question House started, Congress MP K.C. Venugopal had sought permission to speak on the issue.

But, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disallowed saying it could be raised during Zero Hour. Following interruptions, the House was adjourned for about 10 minutes.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:22:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tarun-vijays-racial-remarks-rock-house/article17914142.ece

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